Purdue News

April 12, 2004

Finalists vie for $147,000 in prizes in life sciences business plan competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Eight finalists, including two from Indiana, have been chosen to compete for $147,000 in prizes on April 20 during the third annual Purdue University Life Sciences Business Plan Competition.

The presentations from high-tech bioscience startup companies will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121. On April 19 from 4-7 p.m., the finalists will have desktop displays of their technology and marketing materials in the entrepreneurship center, Room 102. Both the business plan presentations and displays are open to the public.

The competition's lead sponsors are Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and Roche Diagnostics, located in Indianapolis, which is contributing $100,000 in prize money. BioCrossroads and the Indiana Health Industry Forum are contributing a $20,000 prize to the top Indiana finisher.

The finalists and their university affiliations are:

• Anesthesia Safety Products Inc., affiliated with various Massachusetts health-care facilities, Cambridge, Mass., which has technology that prevents the accidental and often fatal introduction of air into intravenous devices.

• BioNano Systems, Columbia University, New York, which has established proof-of-concept for technology that has the potential to detect in real time biological proteins; bioweapons, such as anthrax; and small molecules, such as TNT.

• Claros Diagnostic, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., which has a business plan to produce an inexpensive, portable and easy-to-use system for performing blood tests to detect substances by using reactive antibodies.

• Omni Spray, an operating unit formed within Inproteo, a consortium of Purdue, Indiana University and Eli Lilly and Co., which has a patented technology that makes samples available for mass spectrometer analysis.

• Pathfinder Therapeutics Inc., Vanderbilt and Washington universities, Nashville, Tenn., which has developed a prototype of a device that maps the surgical space of liver surgery so surgeons can locate, remove or dissolve tumors without using traditional surgery.

• QuadraSpec, Purdue, West Lafayette, which aims to commercialize protein-diagnostics technology with a wide range of applications, including medical diagnostics for humans and animals, protein research, and biodefense.

• Renal Diagnostics, Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., which is developing a diagnostic device to enable the early detection of acute renal (kidney) failure by performing real-time urinalysis.

• Salzberg Therapeutics, Wake Forest University, Babcock Graduate School of Medicine, Yadkinville, N.C., which possesses trademarked technology called Cytotoxamers that penetrate and concentrate in malignant cells causing tumor cell death with fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy.

Each of the eight teams will have 45 minutes to present its business plan for bringing their products to market to a judging panel made up of venture capitalists, health-industry professionals, academics and industry service providers.

The judges read the entries of the top 20 teams submitting plans and ranked them using a numerical scoring system that took into account the sophistication of the technology and its business potential. This process was used to arrive at the eight finalists.

"The winner of the final round will be chosen on the basis of solid commercial viability," said Don Blewett, associate director of Purdue's BDM Center. "In terms of both technology and business plans, the finalists all have real commercial potential."

First prize in the competition is $50,000; second prize is $20,000; third prize is $15,000; fourth prize is $7,500; fifth prize is $5,000; sixth prize is $2,500; seventh and eighth prizes are $1,500 each. A total of $24,000 of in-kind legal and financial services is available to the top three finishers. The top Indiana entry will win $20,000 in addition to any other prizes.

Winners will be announced at 8:30 p.m. on April 20 during the banquet at the conclusion of the competition. The winning Indiana team will receive its special Indiana award on April 28 at the 2005 Indiana Health Industry Forum Conference and Innovation Showcase in Indianapolis

Indianapolis-based law firm Baker & Daniels and its health technologies consulting affiliate, Aventor, are contributing $10,000 to support the competition and $12,000 in services to the top three finishers. Ernst & Young, the international accounting and business services firm with an office in Indianapolis, is contributing $12,000 in services to the top three finishers.

"We take pride in the continued confidence of our sponsors," said Richard A. Cosier, director of the BDM Center and dean of the Krannert School of Management. "Everything about the Life Sciences Business Plan Competition is top-notch – the technology, the universities represented, the plans and presentations, the judges, and the venue."

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Purdue 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 students to engage in discussions and applications of entrepreneurial philosophy and issues.

The center is one of six major facilities to be completed in the $100 million Discovery Park complex, which includes the Birck Nanotechnology Center, the Bindley Bioscience Center, an e-enterprise center, a biomedical engineering building, and the Discovery Learning Center. Roche Diagnostics was the first corporate partner of Discovery Park.

Inquiries about the competition should be directed to Blewett at (765) 494-4485, blewett@mgmt.purdue.edu. The competition Web site.

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

Sources: Richard A. Cosier, (765) 494-4366, rcosier@mgmt.purdue.edu

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

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


Related News release:
Second annual Life Sciences Business Plan Competition winners


To the News Service home page

Newsroom Search Newsroom home Newsroom Archive