March 24, 2010 11:05 Age: 4 yrs

TI:GER Team Wins First Place in Georgia Tech Business Plan Competition

AlpZhi, a company that evolved through the Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results, or TI:GER, Program, won first place in the Georgia Tech Business Plan Competition on March 12.

Judges honored AlpZhi with the $10,000 first prize for its innovative manufacturing process for micro-lenses. This process facilitates an improvement in the design flexibility of micro-lenses and the devices that incorporate them, including digital cameras, cell phones, LCD computer screens and fiber-optic equipment.

TI:GER, a collaboration between Emory Law and Georgia Tech, brings together law students, science and engineering PhD students and MBA students to work on commercializing technologies. The AlpZhi team includes Emory Law student Brian Baum and Georgia Tech students Amit S. Jariwala, a PhD student in mechanical engineering; Greg Sheridan, an MBA student; and Fei Ding, a post-doctoral fellow in mechanical engineering.

In addition to first prize, AlpZhi won the $10,000 Innovators Award, which recognizes a potentially disruptive technology. AlpZhi's technology will enable creation of such advanced products as 3D TVs, flexible displays, compact bio-sensors and high-efficiency solar panels.

AlpZhi employs a computer-controlled system involving the addition of photosensitive resins to create lenses of precise dimensions. Instead of adding material like AlpZhi, competing technologies employ more expensive subtractive processes involving etching and the use of hard tools to achieve the desired lens structure.

"This additive fabrication approach leads to a better quality lens," says Jariwala, who hopes to have the company's first generation micro-lens products on the market by 2011.

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