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A Truly Concrete Business Plan

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s entrepreneurship competition, the M.I.T. 100k, gave a new venture, C-Crete Technologies, top honors and a $100,000 cash prize on Wednesday night. One of 204 initial competitors, the company advanced to the finals through a year-long series of pitching and plan-writing contests.

C-Crete has invented and is attempting to patent a new type of cement, which it says is harder and more durable than any other on the market. According to reports from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a major industrial trade association, cement production is responsible for at least 5 percent of the world’s anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions each year.

C-Crete says that longer-lasting cement like C-Crete’s can be used to make concrete that weighs less and is less bulky (but stronger) than standard varieties and requires less energy for manufacturing and transport. “It gives architects the option to build walls half as thick as normal walls,” said Mr. Shahsavari, “to build taller, more impressive and more elegant structures.”

ne of the judges at the finals, Dr. Robert Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet and a general partner at Polaris Ventures in Waltham, Mass., said several factors made C-Crete the consensus winner:

“The pedigree of the C-Crete team, quality of their intellectual property and fact that they had secured protection there were definitely impressive. So were the facts. Concrete is the highest volume artificial material on earth. This group had made a significant discovery as to the actual, nano-scale structure of concrete. And they had a method of making concrete that uses less energy, delivers a cost reduction and ends up being stronger [than the current standard]. The killer part is that they showed you could introduce this new cement without introducing new cement plants. Ultimately we saw a high-impact, carbon dioxide-reducing and enormously promising business proposition.”

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