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UI Team To Compete in National Entrepreneurship Competition

University of Iowa student Michael Keller of Cedar Falls and UI graduate Bryk Lancaster of Le Mars are national semifinalists in the 2004 Spirit of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development collegiate business plan competition.

Keller and Lancaster, co-founders of Flexon Solutions, L.L.C, are one of eight teams from universities across the United States who will present their business plans Feb. 20 and 21 in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Keller, a UI electrical engineering major, and Lancaster, a UI electrical engineering graduate, founded Flexon in August 2003 in Oakdale, Iowa, to identify and develop cost-effective road safety solutions including a pavement marking device called a retroreflectometer. Flexon Solutions formed a partnership with the Iowa Department of Transportation to identify and develop cost-effective road safety solutions. The first wave of products will be delivered in March 2004. Product sales will begin in earnest by the first quarter of 2005.

The competition is sponsored by Santa Barbara-based TechKnowledge Point, which provides new venture research. The first place winner receives $10,000, second place $5,000, and third Place $2,500. The other seven teams in the competition come from the University of Colorado, University of Arizona, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Louisville, Wake Forest University and Columbia University Business School.

More information about the semifinalists and profiles on the eventual winners will be published in the May edition of Entrepreneur magazine.

Keller and Lancaster won $5,000 in the Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition in December. They are also competing in an entrepreneurship competition sponsored by the University of Nebraska Center for Entrepreneurship.


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