WPI Venture Forum 2001 Business Plan Contest Winner Announced

Contact: WPI Venture Forum, +1-508-831-5075

Frank A. Fazio, President of RenalPlant Corporation, won the WPI Venture Forum Business Plan Contest last night, with Al Prescott, President of Crescent Innovations, pulling in the closest second in event history. Frank took home with him $5000 in cash and $5000 in local donated business services, and, the life sized mock check bearing the company name across the front. At WPI on June 12th, both contestants were given 15 minutes to present their business plans to the audience of Venture Forum members, venture capitalists, service providers, and the general public.

Fazio presented his business plan at the June 12th WPI Venture Forum Program on the WPI campus. Frank's written business plan sites that approximately 35,000 people in critical condition are on a kidney transplant waiting list. Approximately 24,000 of those people will not receive one, due to organ shortages. Approximately 320,000 Americans suffer from End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and $15 billion is expended annually for treatment. Fazio states that the market is ripe for an artificial kidney. His company is developing the technology to perfect an external artificial kidney and an implant able artificial kidney.

At an estimated selling price of $50 per daily single use external unit and $25,000 per implant able unit, and given the current shortage of 24,000 organs, the potential market segment in the first year is $450 million. If the artificial kidney replaces dialysis as the preferred method of treatment in just 10% of the patients currently receiving dialysis (32,000), this market segment potential would be approximately $580 million. Given the two market segments in the first year, the total potential market is approximately $1.0 billion.

The RenalPlant Corporation mission is to develop and market a family of artificial kidneys that will enhance the chances for survival of patients suffering from ESRD or kidney failure. On September 12, 2000, Fazio filed two provisional patents. The patents protect a submersible filtration matrix as well as a mode of use for an artificial kidney. An external artificial kidney is expected to be available to the market in approximately two years. A fully implant able product is expected in five years.

Fazio can be reached at 508-624-0150, or at email address fafazio@renalplant.com. The website address is http://www.renalplant.com.

About the WPI Venture Forum

The WPI Venture Forum was created in 1990 to promote the entrepreneurial spirit and to serve those who engage in technology- based entrepreneurial enterprises by providing advice, support and education tailored to meet their needs. The forum fosters entrepreneurship through such activities as monthly programs, a business plan contest, a weekly radio show on News Radio WTAG (Saturdays, 5-7 pm, 580am), and a monthly newsletter.

The Venture Forum, as part of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Department of Management at WPI, serves individuals who are seeking to begin their own technology-based businesses; founders, presidents, and senior managers of start-up or early-stage companies; senior managers of companies that are restarting or making a transition for one mode of operation to another; and employees leaving large companies due to a reduction in force or to start businesses.