Merrill Mason and Mike Saber Selected as Judges for the Duke University "Start-Up Challenge"

Merrill Mason and Mike Saber, partners with Triangle-based law firm Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP were selected to judge this year's Duke "Start-Up Challenge." Both Mr. Mason and Mr. Saber will judge final round competition on Saturday, April 22, 2006.

The Duke Start-Up Challenge provides an opportunity for Duke University students to learn how to formulate a viable business concept. In this three-phase, six-month competition, teams develop plans that encompass all aspects of a business including concept, technology, marketing, management, market research, financials and execution. The top 5 finalists advance to the third and final phase. Judges selected for their business knowledge provide constructive feedback to the competitors throughout the entire competition and determine the teams that advance and eventually win. Over $100,000 is awarded in prize money with the winning team receiving $50,000.

Mr. Mason and Mr. Saber both practice corporate and securities law. Mr. Mason represents emerging and entrepreneurial companies and focuses his practice on venture capital; securities; mergers and acquisitions; intellectual property; and general corporate matters. Mr. Saber focuses his practice on the formation, financing and general representation of public and private growth and technology companies and closely held businesses. Combined, they have over 35 years experience practicing corporate law.

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