seal  Purdue News

March 9, 2004

Free symposium to offer wisdom and practical tips for entrepreneurs

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The third annual Purdue University Entrepreneurship Symposium on March 26 will offer both expert speakers on entrepreneurism theory and practice and opportunities for fledgling area entrepreneurs to network, discuss and ask questions about their dream ventures.

The Making of an Entrepreneur: From Theory to Practice conference begins at 1 p.m. in the third-floor commons area of the new Rawls Hall, located on the corner of State and Grant streets. The symposium, which is free and open to the public, wraps up with a 5 p.m. networking reception. Online registration and symposium information are available online.

Martin Madden, a Purdue Krannert School MBA candidate and one of the symposium's organizers, said, "The entrepreneurship symposium will expose Purdue students and those interested in starting their own businesses to people who have done it all – from obtaining initial financing to startup to expansion. The speakers, panels and discussions will be equally useful to a mom-and-pop pet-sitting venture as they will to a biotechnology startup."

Purdue President Martin C. Jischke will greet conference attendees after an introduction by Madden. Richard A. Cosier, Krannert School dean and director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park, will make closing comments at 4:45 p.m.

The Krannert Entrepreneurship Club, an organization of Krannert School MBA students and other students from across campus, is organizing the event. Sponsors include Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Indianapolis law firm Baker & Daniels, Indianapolis engineering firm Bowen Engineering, the Indiana Venture Center and Indianapolis venture capital firm Gazelle TechVentures.

The afternoon of discussion panels and speakers begins at 1 p.m. in Rawls Hall with keynote speaker Soren Burkhart, CIO of Aloha Airlines. Burkhart is a Purdue alumnus who has been a part of several business startups, including Crossworld Software, Hawaii Business Consulting and Burkhart Technology Solutions. Prior to joining Aloha Airlines, Burkhart started and grew the Commercial Internet Systems Group for Bank One.

Eric Miles, a symposium organizer and Krannert School MBA candidate, said, "Our goal is to attract undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and the broader Indiana community to this symposium. We see it as a catalyst to seed and promote entrepreneurship at Purdue. It's also a great networking opportunity."

Steve Beck, president of the Indiana Venture Center, will speak at 4 p.m. in Rawls Hall on "Entrepreneur Development in Indiana."

Between the two speakers are two panel discussions – Entrepreneur Success Factors and Entrepreneur Action Plan – offered at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Rawls Hall.

Arnold C. Cooper, Louis A. Weil Jr. Professor of Management, will moderate the Entrepreneur Success Factors panel. Cooper is the author or co-author of six scholarly books on entrepreneurship, strategic management and the management of technology.

Joe DeGroff, a partner with the law firm Ice Miller, will moderate the Entrepreneur Action Plan panel. Panelists for both panels are Robert Bowen, Purdue alumnus and president of Bowen Engineering; Paul Madden, vice president of finance for Diversified Systems in Indianapolis; Trevor Belden, an associate with Baker & Daniels; Ron Ellis, president and CEO of Endocyte Inc., a biotechnology company located in the Purdue Research Park; and local entrepreneur Dennis Owen who runs Synovius LLC, a local small-business consulting company.

At 5 p.m. there will be a reception on the west end of the third floor in Rawls Hall.

The Entrepreneurship Club is based at the Krannert School of Management, but membership is open to all Purdue students, faculty, staff and community members.

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Discovery Park brings together existing entrepreneurial efforts on campus, including technology transfer activities and other entrepreneurial competitions, speakers and events. The center also serves as a resource for Purdue researchers to commercialize their discoveries and as the intellectual center of education on, and discussion of, entrepreneurial philosophy and issues.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Sources: Martin Madden, (574) 315-8858,

Eric Miles, (765) 743-6929,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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