Successful Entrepreneurs Selected as InVenture Prize Judges

Georgia Public Broadcasting to air finals on March 9 at 7 p.m.

Winners of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s InVenture Prize will be selected by a panel of judges who are very familiar with entrepreneurship and marketing their own inventions. 

The InVenture Prize is an innovation competition for Georgia Tech undergraduate students who work independently or in teams to create inventions. Seven finalists have been selected to compete for $35,000 in prize money and free U.S. patent filings. Students will present their inventions during a live Georgia Public Broadcasting program televised from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Robert Ferst Center for the Arts on March 9 at 7 p.m.

The 2011 InVenture Prize judges are:

  • Sara Blakely, founder and owner of Atlanta-based SPANX, invented footless pantyhose after researching trademarks and patents at the Georgia Tech Library. Since 1998, she has created more than 200 problem-solving products. Blakely has been named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Georgia’s “Woman of the Year.”
  • Deborah Kilpatrick is senior vice president at California-based CardioDx, a privately held genomic medicine company focused on cardiovascular disease. At Georgia Tech, Kilpatrick serves on several advisory boards and was named to the Council of Outstanding Young Alumni.  She holds multiple U.S. patents and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech.
  • Greg Foster is founder and CEO of BrightWhistle, a marketing software company in Atlanta and an entrepreneur-in-residence with Chrysalis Ventures. Foster is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, the Georgia Council on Economic Education and the Bobby Dodd Foundation. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
  • David Phelps has served as president and CEO of Kentucky-based CreoSalus, a peptide science company, since 2002. For more than 25 years, his career has included significant management roles with large life science (medical device, drug and bio-tech) companies. He has developed more than 50 medical devices and has more than 25 patents issued or pending.

Returning as the InVenture Prize co-hosts are Miles O’Brien, an award-winning 27-year broadcast news veteran specializing in aviation, space, science, the environment and technology; and Bahereh Azizi, a researcher and support manager in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  

Free tickets to the InVenture Prize broadcast are available at http://inventureprize.gatech.edu/tickets. In addition to airing on Georgia Public Broadcasting, the 2011 Georgia Tech InVenture Prize competition will be streamed online at www.gpb.org.