CLEVELAND, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Organizers of the second annual International and North Coast Nanotechnology Business Idea Competitions today announced the names of judges who have thus far agreed to preside over the October 20-21 NANO Week event. The panel includes representatives of venture capital firms, corporations and nanotechnology researchers. The venture capitalists on the panel are Jonathan P. Murray of Early Stage Partners; James L. Bildner of New Horizons Partners (Boston); and Ted Schroeder of the KAL Equity Capital Fund (Los Altos, Calif.). Alan Olson, director of technology for Ferro Corp., and Scott Rickert, chief executive of Nanofilm are representing the corporate community, and Don Blewett of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.) and Zachary Shulman of The Johnson School at Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.) represent the research community. The International and North Coast Nanotechnology Business Idea Competitions are the culminating event of NANO Week, October 17-21, which this year will focus attention on the next generation of nanotechnology-based products and applications from the aerospace, automotive and consumer products industries. The business idea competition differs from traditional business plan competitions in that it is simply seeking submissions of concepts that have the potential to be profitable, nanotechnology-based businesses. Organizers have introduced a new entry category to this year's competition in hopes of finding the best nanotechnology business idea from Northeast Ohio. The North Coast Business Idea Competition will award $75,000 to the best entrant from the region or the entrant that is willing to relocate to the region. The International Business Idea Competition will again award $75,000 to top teams from anywhere in the United States or abroad. The judges will choose the winners based on the ability of the business ideas to fill a market need and be commercialized. "Northeast Ohio is really catching people's attention as a hotbed of nanotechnology activity," said Gary Wnek, co-director of The Institute for Management and Engineering (TiME) at Case Western Reserve University. "The American nanotech community paid close attention to last year's competition, and last year's winner has already attracted venture capital. We expect even more attention will be paid to this year's competition. The caliber of the judges we've drawn is a testament to that." There is a fee of $100 for each entry a team submits, and there is no limit to the number of submissions a team may enter. Entrants who submit a letter of intent to enter the competition before September 1 will have their entry fee reduced to $50. The deadline for submissions is September 15. For more information, including the complete rules, visit the TiME Web site at www.tiime.case.edu/nano. Organizers of the competition include three Case Western Reserve University departments: TiME, the Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program (STEP), and InTICE: the Institute for Technology Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship, and the Nano-Network. Sponsors include the Partnerships for Innovation Program of the National Science Foundation and the Joseph P. & Nancy F. Keithley Foundation. An awards ceremony for the winning teams will be held October 21 in Cleveland. QD Vision Inc., a Cambridge, Mass., startup that had the idea of using nanotechnology to develop the next generation of liquid crystal displays, won $50,000 in the inaugural International Business Idea Competition in 2004. NorTech, the Northeast Ohio Technology Coalition, which is leading the development of a technology-driven economy in Northeast Ohio, and the Nano- Network, a consortium of nanotechnology-minded scientists, entrepreneurs and supporting agencies in Northeast Ohio, are the driving forces behind NANO Week. About the Institute for Management and Engineering (TiME) Combining the resources of Case Western Reserve University's School of Engineering and its Weatherhead School of Management, TiME is uniquely positioned to help students and technology-based companies integrate engineering and management to achieve superior organizational performance. More information is available at www.tiime.case.edu. About the Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program The Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program at Case Western Reserve University is a 2-year masters program that provides grounding in science and technology innovation, practical business instruction, and real- world entrepreneurial experience. More information about this program is available at http://step.case.edu. About the Institute for Technology Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship (InTICE) Building on the formidable strengths of Case Western Reserve University, InTICE fosters the practice, study and teaching of technology innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship through the development of unique academic programs. InTICE works to make the process more effective and more efficient, and to create a transformative culture in all of its partners. About NorTech NorTech (The Northeast Ohio Technology Coalition) is a diverse group of 50 regional leaders committed to ensuring economic growth and leadership in Northeast Ohio by promoting entrepreneurially based, globally competitive technology development, innovation and commercialization. See www.nortech.org for more information. About the Nano-Network The Nano-Network was formed by scientists, entrepreneurs and financiers to improve and expand the nanotechnology research and commercialization activities and capacities in Northeast Ohio and throughout the nation. More information about the Nano-Network and NANO Week is available at www.nano-network.org.