Two startups from Georgia, one from North Carolina and another from Florida are competing for a $100,000 prize in a business plan competition put on by Southeast BIO.

All of the finalists in BIO/Plan have links to universities. The winner will be announced at the SEBIO organization’s annual venture conference next week in Pinehurst.

The finalists are:

• Oncoscope (Duke)

• SpherIngenics (Georgia Tech)

• Triptor Pharmaceuticals (Emory)

• CureFAKtor (University of Florida)

Venture capital firm H.I.G. ventures is the founding sponsor of the competition, which drew more than 50 entries. The purpose of the contest is to help spark development of more life science companies across the southeast.

“BIO/Plan is an obvious success, even in this first year," said Aaron Davison, managing director of H.I.G. Ventures. "The goal was to identify and bring forward outstanding new investment opportunities in the Southeast and the finalists exemplify innovation and excellence. The finalists have also had the benefit of working directly with experienced entrepreneurs as well as mentors from the venture capital community. This opportunity is of the highest value to each of the finalists, regardless of the competition results."

Ten semi-finalists were picked in June, and the four finalists were selected after what SEBIO calls a “rigorous mentoring process” to produce an “executable business strategy” along with a written plan.

"We have been really pleased with the willingness of our mentors to spend the time and effort required to develop these plans," said Becky Kaufman, chairman of SEBIO and one of the BIO/Plan mentor. "There was a genuine sense of competition among the groups, many of whom have deals or other business relationships. It was a lot of fun, but the best part is that the quality of the resulting plans is so high. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are at least several funded deals out of the BIO/Plan semi-finalist group by this time, next year, which would be a great success for the program."

The venture conference is set for Nov. 7-8.

The winner will receive $100,000, and the prize is non-dilutive