Intrinsic Security Wins Business Plan Competition

Companies' high-speed computer networks could soon be much safer from attack, thanks to technology developed by Intrinsic Security, winner of the Georgia Tech College of Management's 2006 Business Plan Competition on February 24.

Most security products in use today only sample a small fraction of the data streaming across high-speed networks, explains MBA student Aldor Delp, CEO of Intrinsic Security. But his company has developed an efficient means of examining every single bit of data so that no attacks, including network-vulnerability scans and worms, slip past the system.

"It's a totally different way of looking at security," says Delp, noting that previous methods of examining all network data have proven too cost-and-time prohibitive to implement. "Our company provides the first proven solution for network monitoring at speeds over 1 gigabit per second, which allows for a nearly 100-percent accurate, real-time response to threats and significantly lower hardware requirements than anything else currently on the market."

Delp shared the $10,000 prize for best overall business plan with fellow MBA students Robert Henebry and Jozef Purdes; Chris Clark, a doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering at Tech; and Abhishek Kumar, who earned his PhD in computer science in December. Intrinsic Security also edged out the competition's four other finalists to win the Most Fundable prize (a package of legal, financial and other services worth $20,000), which goes to the team considered most ready to enter the marketplace by the judges.

The Business Plan Competition, started in 2001 and open to all Georgia Tech students and alumni who've graduated within the past five years, is intended primarily as an educational exercise, but it often leads to the creation of real technology-based businesses.

Serious about Success
All of Intrinsic Security's officers plan to commit themselves fully to the company after graduation and hope to bring their product to market by the fall. Now seeking investors, they expect to break even in 2007 and net $24 million by 2010. They're marketing their innovation, which is now in beta-testing on the Georgia Tech network, to large companies with high-speed networks.

Intrinsic Security grew out of the Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER) program - a partnership between Georgia Tech and Emory Law School that joins science and engineering students with MBA, economics and law students, who collaborate in learning how to move technologies from the lab to the marketplace.

Clark, a TI:GER participant, developed the pattern-matching hardware necessary for Intrinsic Security's high-speed network security system, and he later connected with Kumar, who created the algorithms and software that make it possible to efficiently analyze the data. MBA students worked on evolving the business concept in a venture-creation class last fall at Georgia Tech's business school.

The Business Plan Competition was a terrific learning experience for the team, says Henebry, an MBA student who is vice president of marketing. "We've really had to think on a strategic level about everything involved in the process of starting up a business," he says. "The feedback from the judges has been invaluable. If you really want to pursue a business like our team does, then you need to know where the holes are in the plan."

Other Teams Honored
Two other TI:GER teams placed second and third in the overall Business Plan Competition. EvIslet (pronounced "e-violet"), a research-and-development company for medical devices, won $3,000 for its plan to market an innovation improving the success of islet-cell transplantations used to treat diabetes. Its team members include MBA student John Stallworth, Emory law students Scott Anderson and Kamram Salour, and Jeff Gross, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering at Tech.

Third-place winner PolyDerm Delivery Systems, which won $2,000 for its plan for a drug-delivery skin patch employing polymer microneedle technology, includes Sean Sullivan, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering, and MBA students Steve Selfridge and James Stefanakos.

PolyDerm Delivery Systems also won two $500 prizes given for the first time this year: the Sustainability Award, awarded to the plan that best addresses environmental concerns and/or demonstrates social responsibility; and the Showstopper Award, honoring the team that did the best job selling itself to judges in a trade show held the night before the final-round competition. Intrinsic Security won the $500 prize in the Elevator Pitch Contest, in which teams got only one minute to verbally sell their business concepts - the amount of time they might have in an elevator with a potential investor.

The Sustainability, Showstopper, and Elevator Pitch contests were open to all twelve teams that participated in the competition's preliminary rounds, while only the five finalists could compete for the top awards, including Most Fundable.

Sponsors and Judges
Sponsors of the 2006 Business Plan Competition included HLB Gross Collins PC, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, PaloAltoSoftware, RBC Centura, and Speechworks/Asher Communications.

Final round judges included Tony Antoniades, Advanced Technology Development Center; Stephen Gross, HLB Gross Collins PC; Knox Massey, Atlanta Technology Angels; Sig Mosley, Imlay Investments Inc., and Bill Oaks, Acorn Equities.

Preliminary round judges included Carter Allen, CGA Technology Counsel; Tom Barnes, Mediathink LLC; Mark Braunstein, Patient Care Technologies; Rhen Cain, Entrepreneurs Foundation of the Southeast; Stephen Fleming, chief commercialization officer of Georgia Tech; Rob Hassett, Casey Gibson Leibel PC; Kathleen Kurre, Fusion Advisors; Mary Leary, Advanced Technology Development Center; Jack McMillian, Tech Bridge; Mark Morel, Procuri Inc.; Charles Vaughn, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP; and Mike Vollmer, Attorney at Law.

Sustainability Award Judges included Ray Anderson, Interface Inc.; Carol Carmichael, Georgia Tech's Institute for Sustainable Technology and Development; and Ben Hill, VentureLab.

The Showstopper contest was judged by prior Business Plan Competition winners: Nimisha Gupta, Rosie Kwok, Bill Moultrie, Mike Orndorff, and Ree'L Street. Former winners also judged the Elevator Pitch Contest: Dave Beck, Dave Burgess, Blake Byers, and Bill Edens.

Writer: Brad Dixon, College of Management