Purdue News

January 19, 2005

Winners named in Lilly Endowment-sponsored biz plan contests

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Winners have divided $150,000 in winnings from business plan competition in Fort Wayne, Hammond and West Lafayette.

The contests were sponsored by Purdue University and the Lilly Endowment Inc. The goal is to encourage the creation and expansion of Indiana companies that will drive the state's future economy.

business plan presentation
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Each of the three competition venues offered a prize purse of $50,000 – $25,000 for first place, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third.

Don Blewett, associate director of Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Enterpreneurship, which administered the competitions, said this is the first of three years of the competitions the Lilly Endowment is funding. The competitions are part of a three-year $3.5 million Opportunity for Indiana grant, which aims to provide more opportunities and good jobs for graduates of the state's colleges, universities, technical schools and high schools.

"The business plans and presentations to the panels of judges were very high quality," Blewett said. "Indiana has a great deal of talent and entrepreneurial ambition that will be a major driver of the state's economy of the future."

Winners, companies and prizes at the Nov. 22 the Fort Wayne competition were:

– BioAfix, a startup company from Fort Wayne, with a product that helps regenerate bone tissue and reduces the risk of osteoarthritis, took first place and the $25,000 prize. Principal is Herb Schwarts.

– Zoom, a Fort Wayne software company that aims to provide motorists with information on road conditions, traffic congestion and driving hazards, took second place and $15,000. Principal is Mike Fritsch.

– Zieben Engineering Systems, a Warsaw startup that provides design engineering and prototype fabrication for the medical-device industry, took third place and $10,000. Principal is Scott Hartford.

Winners, companies and prizes at the Nov. 23 West Lafayette competition were:

– Quadraspec, a West Lafayette startup aiming to commercialize protein-diagnostics technology, took first place and the $25,000 prize, plus $5,000 in business services from accounting firm Ernst and Young. Company principals are Eric Davis, Chad Barden and Brian Weichel.

– Artistrunway.com, an Indianapolis company that maintains a Web site representing visual artists' work for corporate clients and consumers, took second place and $15,000, plus $2,500 in Ernst and Young business services. Principals are Loree Everett, Molly Pentecost and Andrea McVeigh.

– Imaginestics, a Purdue Research Park company in West Lafayette that provides data and knowledge management for manufacturing companies, took third place and $10,000, plus $1,000 in Ernst and Young business services. The principal is Nainesh Rathod.

Winners, companies and prizes at the Dec. 1 Hammond competition were:

– SafRisc, a computer-security startup from Crown Point took first place and $25,000. Company principals are Susan Akers, Eric Aldrin and Buddy Meek.

– Access Recovery Solutions, a backup and disaster-recovery company from Schererville, took second place and $15,000. Principals are Pamela Grkinich and Mark Porto.

– Third place and $10,000 went to Hogan Consulting Group, an information technology and IT staffing company in Chesterton. Principals are Michael and Rebecca Hogan.

Four workshops on the fundamentals of business were offered at each of the competition locations prior to the competitions

Blewett said the coming two years of competitions are open to startups and existing Indiana businesses that want to expand, particularly in manufacturing and high-technology. Blewett said while students can enter, the target populations are Indiana residents or those from other states who plan to start or expand a business in the state. Participants can enter any one of the three competitions.

Inquiries about next year's competition should be directed to Blewett at (765) 494-4485, blewett@mgmt.purdue.edu.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu

Source: Don Blewett, (765) 494-4485, blewett@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


Note to Journalists: Video b-roll is available by contacting Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu.

Related Web site:
Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

Molly Pentecost, Artistway.com's director of marketing, makes the business plan presentation that won second place and $15,000, plus $2,500 in business services in the West Lafayette Opportunity for Indiana Business Plan Competition. Artistway.com represents visual artists' work on a Web site and markets the works to corporations and individual consumers. The West Lafayette competition was one of three statewide co-sponsored by the Lilly Endowment as part of its $3.5 million, three-year Opportunity for Indiana grant. The competition took place at Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Discovery Park. (Purdue News Service file photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at https://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/+2004/lilly-presentation.jpg


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