11th Annual Business Plan Contest

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

Tuesday, May 11, 2004, 6-9 p.m.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Campus Center Odeum

Worcester, MA - April 23, 2004 - When investors expect good things to happen (think dot-com boom), valuations rise. When the outlook turns sour (think 1929), values fall. At the May 11th meeting of the WPI Venture Forum, Joel F. Johnson, accredited senior appraiser (ASA) and founder of Orchard Partners, will describe how the expectations of venture capitalists, private equity buyers, and strategic acquirers differ and how these differences mold their valuation decisions. In addition to performing business appraisals since 1987, he advises clients in mergers and acquisitions. Johnson founded Orchard Partners in 1998 and has provided valuation opinions for financial reporting, tax, and litigation purposes. His clients include venture-backed private companies, publicly traded companies, family businesses, and corporations with a single owner.

Following Mr. Johnson, the case presentation will be Philip A. Cyr, President and CEO of Predictive Online Devices (Providence, RI). By the most conservative industry estimates, there are hundreds of millions of bearings in use worldwide that are critical to the operations of factories, power plants, oil refineries, and industrial operations. When these bearings fail, the consequences can be catastrophic. Predictive Online Devices (POD) has developed the first wireless network-based solution that can reduce, by a factor of up to 15X, maintenance costs associated with bearing monitoring and lubrication.

The WPI Venture Forum meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 11, 2004, at the Odeum Campus Center on the WPI campus in Worcester, MA. Registration begins at 6:00 p.m. and the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Registration cost is $10 individual, annual and lifetime members; and $20 nonmembers.

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.