Purdue News

May 4, 2006

Purdue puts out call for entrants in three biz plan competitions

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is seeking competitors to participate in three Lilly Endowment-sponsored business plan competitions.

2005 winners
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Online registration for November and December Opportunity for Indiana Business Plan Competitions in West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Hammond opens June 5 and closes Aug. 4. Each competition offers at least $50,000 in prizes — $25,000 for first place, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third. Local sponsorships may increase prize amounts and provide professional business and legal services for the winners.

Don Blewett, associate director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, which administers the competitions, said this is the third year for the events.

"We've been running the Lilly Endowment-sponsored competitions for the last two years and other business plan competitions for many years," he said. "Entrepreneurial enterprises are key to Indiana's economic future, and we're giving people the tools to be successful entrepreneurs, whether they start their own company or work for a big, established company.

"We're announcing the competition early because we want to give people a chance to think about their product or enterprise and get their team together. Our message is: Get registered in June, and if you take advantage of the information and resources we offer, you really can't lose."

Business plan executive summaries with a maximum three-page limit are due Sept. 25. Fifteen semifinalists at each location will be selected to submit full business plans, due Oct. 30, and five finalists at each location will be announced on Nov. 13.

Those finalists will make presentations to judging panels of venture capitalists, academics and local entrepreneurs. Finalists will make presentations at West Lafayette Nov. 28, Hammond on Nov. 29 and at Fort Wayne on Dec. 1.

Blewett said at least four workshops on business fundamentals will be offered at each competition location beginning Aug 4. Subjects will include finance, legal issues, marketing and preparing a business plan. Times and locations will be announced at the competition Web site. Workshops are open to non-entrants as well as competition participants.

Local competition sponsors are Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, the Purdue Research Park, and Purdue University North Central and Purdue University Calumet, which are jointly sponsoring the Purdue Calumet competition in Hammond. Additional sponsors, such as legal and accounting firms, are being sought for local sponsorship and to provide in-kind services to winning teams.

Blewett said the competitions are open to Indiana startups and businesses that want to expand. Entrants from outside Indiana can enter if they locate within the state. Participants can enter any one of the three competitions.

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is the first of six centers in Purdue's Discovery Park. The other centers are the Birck Nanotechnology Center, Bindley Bioscience Center, Discovery Learning Center, e-Enterprise Center and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing. The new Biomedical Engineering Building also will be located in Discovery Park.

The Indiana Small Business Development Center is an associate sponsor of the overall competition.

The Lilly Endowment funds that are sponsoring the competition are part of a $3.5 million, three-year grant, called Opportunity for Indiana, which aims to provide more opportunities and good jobs for graduates of the state's colleges, universities, technical schools and high schools.

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

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

Carl Drummond, Fort Wayne competition coordinator, drummond@ipfw.edu

Donna George, Hammond competition coordinator, georged@calumet.purdue.edu

Maureen Ward, West Lafayette competition coordinator, msward@prf.org

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


Related Web sites:
Executive summary guidelines

Business plan guidelines


Michael Dwan, CEO of SFI Systems located in the Purdue Research Park, makes the winning $25,000 presentation in the 2005 Opportunity for Indiana Business Plan Competition. (Purdue News Service file photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality file photograph is available at https://ftp.purdue.edu/pub/uns/+2005/bizplancomp2.jpg


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