CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Darden School of Business and its Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Batten Institute today announced the latest entrepreneurship ventures participating in the Darden Business Incubator, Darden's on campus program to support its MBA students developing promising early-stage business ventures.
The Darden Business Incubator is unique in that it supplies each incoming venture with more than $13,000 to support their development and cover expenses. New in this year's program is a series of pre-Incubator workshops including a Legal Clinic, developed through a partnership with the UVA School of Law and the Woods Rogers law firm to provide free legal services to new ventures.
"This year's group of twelve companies admitted to the Incubator is one of the strongest groups to date both in the novelty of concepts being advanced and the commitment to taking an 'effectual' approach to starting businesses," said Philippe Sommer, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. "There have been a number of highly successful companies that have emerged from our Incubator and by working closely with this year's terrific group of participants on the process of new venture development we'll continue to improve their potential for future entrepreneurial success."
The Incubator also provides additional critical resources, such as physical office space and expert advice from the legal, marketing and technology communities, as well as assistance in finding third-party investment support – all within the framework of a community of fellow entrepreneurs over the course of a year.Among the many success stories from previous years in the Darden Business Incubator, Husk Power Systems (HPS), a venture co-founded by Darden alumni Chip Ransler (MBA'09) and Manoj Sinha (MBA'09) which provides electricity to rural India, was awarded the prestigious 2011 Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in the International Category. While each venture must involve a Darden student or recent graduate, the Incubator is also open to members of the wider University of Virginia community who are interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial business idea. Projects are selected for the commitment of the student(s), the persuasiveness of the business concept and the research behind it. New programs added this year included a series of pre-Incubator workshops: