Purdue News

August 23, 2006

Purdue students invited to compete in annual entrepreneurial contest

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —Purdue University students have the chance to use their business ideas to compete for $75,000 in total prize money on Feb. 22 at the 20th annual Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition.

Those interested in applying their business skills or who have an idea for an enterprise or marketable technology should attend one of the informational call-out sessions at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 or Aug. 31 in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121, or register online by Sept. 18. Registration information and the complete competition calendar are available online.

Sponsored each year by the entrepreneurship center and founded in 1987, the competition is the third oldest such event in the country. Focusing on Purdue students, the competition requires the inclusion of Purdue undergraduate or graduate students in each of two divisions.

"This competition gives Purdue students and other individuals the chance to reach for their dreams of starting their own business or seeing their marketing ideas or inventions come to life," said Don Blewett, associate director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

The Gold, or open, division teams can include non-student members as long as no more than 20 percent of the team is composed of non-Purdue personnel. The Black, or undergraduate, division teams can include only undergraduate Purdue students, but may include a faculty adviser. In both divisions, only Purdue students may make the presentations to the judges.

The competition has two phases: the first requires the submission of a mini-plan by Nov. 13. Semifinalists from each division will be chosen Dec. 4 and asked to submit their full business plans by Jan. 22. Then, five finalists from each division will be selected to present their business plans to a panel of judges at the Feb. 22 final competition.

Prizes in the Gold Division are $30,000 for first place, $8,000 for second place, $6,000 for third place, $2,000 for fourth place and $1,500 for fifth place. Prizes for the Black Division are $15,000 for first place, $6,000 for second place, $4,000 for third place, $1,500 for fourth place and $1,000 for fifth place.

In addition to the prize money, the top three winners from the Gold Division will receive free legal and consulting services from the competition's associate sponsor, Ice Miller LLC, an Indianapolis-based legal and business advising firm. The value of the services is $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place.

"You can define entrepreneurism as the aggressive and creative application of standard business principles and making decisions quickly for the right reasons," Blewett said. "It's saying what you're going to do and doing what you say. We can provide the tools to make your idea fly."

Following the close of registration, the center will offer eight workshops to prepare the teams for writing business plans to qualify for the competition finals. Blewett said the evening workshops will cover all the functional areas of an MBA — finance, marketing, legal considerations, accounting and business planning — and how all the areas interact. The first workshop will be on Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. All of the workshops will take place in Room 121 at the center.

The center also is offering business and entrepreneurial workshops in August that are open to the public. The workshops, which are part of the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Center's Opportunity for Indiana Business Competition, will take place in the Purdue Technology Center, Room C1-400, located at 3000 Kent Ave.

The upcoming workshops are:

• Aug. 24, 6-7:30 p.m. Elements of a Business Plan, presented by Timothy Folta, assistant professor of management at the Purdue's Krannert School of Management.

• Aug. 29, 7:30-9 p.m. Legal Issues, presented by Rick Spykman from Stuart & Branigin.

More information about the workshops can be found on the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship Web site.

"Win, lose or draw, this is solid, basic business education that will make you more employable," Blewett said. "And having won real dollars in a business plan competition is a resume item that will separate you from other graduating job seekers because established companies seek entrepreneurial employees. Over a longer term, the competition will prepare its entrants to enter the entrepreneurial arena at any point in their future careers."

Writer: Bethany Bannister-Andrews, (765) 494-2073, bbannister@purdue.edu

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

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


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