November 30, 2005
SFI Systems wins Lilly Endowment-Purdue business plan competition
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. SFI Systems won the top $25,000 prize today (Wednesday, Nov. 30) in the Opportunity for Indiana Business Plan Competition, sponsored by the Lilly Endowment, the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and Purdue Research Park.
SFI Systems is a Purdue Research Park startup company that designs and distributes software for creating, managing and controlling entertainment lighting. Team members making SFI Systems' presentation were Michael Dwan and Chris Aiello. SFI also won $5,000 in business services from Ernst & Young LLC.
CEO Dwan said the company will use the prize money for "paychecks and growth. We've got four people to hire."
Five finalists made business plan presentations and responded to a panel of judges' questions in the Purdue Technology Center, located in the Purdue Research Park. Purdue President Martin C. Jischke was the featured speaker at the awards ceremony.
"Entrepreneurship is a major focus at Purdue," Jischke said. "This competition aims to increase the number of high-tech jobs in the state. And Indiana's economic future could well be dependent on the businesses we grow right here."
Other presenters and their prizes in the competition were:
Second place, $15,000 and $3,000 in business services from Ernst & Young, went to Agri Processing Services LLC, a Carmel company that plans to manufacture and market to food-processing plants a patented chemical compound to treat wastewater more cost effectively and environmentally than current methods available. Team members making the Agri Processing Services presentation were Bud Harmon and Timothy Ortman.
Third place, $10,000 and $2,000 in business services from Ernst & Young, went to Seyet LLC, a Purdue Research Park company that uses proprietary software to create animations that depict microscopic phenomena used by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to understand spatial and temporal effects of given interactions. Team members making Seyet's presentation were Jim Bartek, Lee Gooding and Jon Kevan.
Fourth place and $2,000 went to Tot Shots Photography, based in Whiting, Ind., which specializes in taking photographs of babies within 24 hours of their birth. Crystal Hoover made the presentation for Tot Shots. The Purdue Research Foundation funded the prize.
Fifth place and $1,000 went to En'Urga Inc., a Purdue Research Park company that is introducing a new product, optical diagnostic equipment to ensure uniform coating of arterial stents. Team members making En'Urga's presentation were Yudaya Sivathanu and Deepa Divakaran. The Purdue Research Foundation funded the prize.
"The entrants' business plans this year took a step up in sophistication and vision," said Don Blewett, associate director of the Burton D. Morgan Center. "This competition shows that if you give people the tools and the opportunity, they will set a high standard, such as what we saw today."
In addition to the West Lafayette competition, there also was a competition at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne on Tuesday (Nov. 29), and there will be a competition Thursday (Dec. 1) at the Library Student Faculty Building at Purdue North Central in Westville, Ind.
The competitions were open to Indiana startups and businesses that want to expand. Entrants from outside Indiana could enter if they located within the state.
Judges for the West Lafayette competition were William Hingst, Mid American Beverages of Kokomo; Gail Koehler, Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union; Monty Korte, Ernst & Young LLC, Indianapolis; Eric Murphy, Murphy/Reader Associates, West Lafayette; Kevin Potter, Shiel Sexton, Indianapolis; Rick Spykman, Stuart and Branigan LLP; Daniel T. Moriarity, Shenkel Shultz Architecture, Indianapolis; and Chad Barden, CEO of last year's West Lafayette winner, Quadraspec.
The Lilly Endowment funds used to sponsor the competition are part of a $3.5 million, three-year 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. This is the second year of the competition.
Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Michael Dwan, (765) 543-9521, email@example.com
Martin Jischke, (765) 494-9708
Don Blewett, (765) 494-4485, firstname.lastname@example.org
Timothy Ortman, Agri Processing Services LLC, email@example.com
Yudaya Sivathanu, En'Urga Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Bartek, Seyet LLC, email@example.com
Chris Aiello, SFI Systems, firstname.lastname@example.org
Crystal Hoover, Tots Shots Photography, email@example.com
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Journalists: Video b-roll is available by contacting Mike Lillich at the Purdue News Service, (765) 494-2077, email@example.com.
A publication-quality photograph is available at http://ftp.purdue.edu/pub/uns/+2005/bizplancomp2.jpg
A publication-quality photograph is available at http://ftp.purdue.edu/pub/uns/+2005/bizplancomp.jpg
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