Princeton Engineering freshman Seth Priebatsch’s scheme for a text-messaging scavenger hunt has won first prize in the Tigerlaunch Business Plan Competition. Priebatsch may be a freshman but he is by no means a greenhorn when it comes to starting businesses. His PostcardTech specializes in producing interactive postcards containing mini CDs. Among his clients: Boston City Hall and Google.

The Daily Princetonian describes Preibatsch’s SCVNGR system this way: “SCVNGR uses cell phones to send out clues and receive responses via SMS for digital scavenger hunts. The scavenger hunts would invite visitors and locals to spend time seeking out and winning prizes in major tourist destinations, such as New York City or Boston. To enter a scavenger hunt, team members would sign up online or text SCVNGR to a short code.”

Preibatsch is majoring in operations research and financial engineering, which in this interview he rightly calls “a program for entrepreneurs.”

Indeed ORFE has produced its share of entrepreneurs. Among them: Robert J. Moore ’06, who did his senior thesis on poker, well before Harvard Law School Professor Charles Nesson’s recent appearance on “The Colbert Report” discussing the value of poker as a tool for teaching strategic thinking.

Moore’s latest entrepreneurial adventure is, an affiliate marketing play that is heavily rooted in relationships with e-commerce companies. “The basic idea is that school, charity, and community groups can join for free and do their fundraising by referring friends and supporters to shop through the site’s partner stores,” Moore tells EQN. “A percentage of every purchase those supporters make at the 200-plus stores in the SmartRaise partner network goes toward their cause.”

On April 9, Princeton Engineering’s innovative faculty will be showing off technologies that are ripe for commercialization at a forum sponsored by the Center for Innovation in Engineering Education and the Jumpstart New Jersey Angel Network. Details can be found here.

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