South San Francisco (PRESS RELEASE – April 18, 2011) – ATDynamics, Inc., the leading provider of fuel-saving rear-drag aerodynamics technology for tractor-trailers, is celebrating the 5th anniversary of winning the world’s richest and largest business plan competition in 2006 at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
Participating in and winning the Rice University Business Plan Competition in 2006 brought the Company immediate market and investor credibility, allowing the company’s founder to build a successful clean technology business.
“The Rice University Business Plan Competition had a tremendous effect on each of the teammates from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth who helped ATDynamics win the competition,” said Andrew Smith, Founder and CEO of ATDynamics. “The initial seed investment in the company came from the competition. We are now well on our way to meeting the original business plan objectives of saving the trucking industry over two billion dollars in diesel fuel annually.”
The US Department of Energy now predicts that the national average price of diesel fuel will remain over $4.00 throughout the summer.
After 5 years of product engineering and fuel efficiency testing with leading US trucking companies, ATDynamics is now growing steadily, retrofitting over 250 long-haul trailers with TrailerTail rear-drag aerodynamics equipment each month. With record-high fuel prices, demand for TrailerTails is increasing and shippers are beginning to require that tractor-trailers carrying their products have TrailerTails. Each TrailerTail saves equivalent fuel on an annual basis as replacing a passenger vehicle with an electric car.
“Since the inception of the Rice University Business Plan Competition, we have held the belief that this competition is not merely an academic exercise, but a true launch pad for viable businesses,” said Brad Burke, Managing Director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. “ATDynamics is one of our greatest success stories, having grown from a concept in 2006 to a multi-million dollar business impacting the trucking industry, creating jobs and reducing energy consumption.”
Andrew Smith’s video message to the participants of this weekend’s 2011 Rice University Business Plan Competition can be viewed at www.atdynamics.com/Rice2011.
About ATDynamics, Inc.
ATDynamics is a leading supplier of semi-trailer aerodynamics technology. Its flagship TrailerTail drag reduction technology, first released in 2008, is part of a suite of products engineered to reduce the fuel consumption of the freight transportation industry. Based in South San Francisco, California, ATDynamics is the recipient of numerous innovation awards and is a founding member of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency. ATDynamics is an affiliate of the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership and a member of the American Trucking Association’s Technology Maintenance Council.
About Rice University Business Plan Competition
The Rice University Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level business plan competition. It is hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship which is Rice University’s flagship initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship. This is the 11th year for the competition. In that time, it has grown from nine teams competing for $10,000 in prize money in 2001, to 42 teams from around the world competing for more than $1.1 million in cash and prizes in 2011.
In 2011, intents to compete increased to nearly 510 teams from around the world from 420 the previous year. More than 120 corporate and private sponsors support the business plan competition. Two hundred and fifty plus venture capitalists and other investors from around the country volunteer their time to judge the competition, with more than half of the judges coming from the investment sector. In total, more than 200 past competitors have launched their business and are in business today having raised more than $337 million in funding and employing more than 600 individuals.
Since inception, the Rice Alliance has assisted in the launch of more than 250 start-ups which have raised more than half-a-billion dollars in early-stage capital. More than 1000 companies have presented at the 125+ programs hosted by the Rice Alliance.