Purdue News

September 12, 2006

Business plan competition begins this month

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — More than $150,000 will be awarded to startup businesses this fall in the third annual Opportunity for Indiana Business Plan Competition.

Sponsored each year by the Purdue University Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and the Lilly Endowment, the regional competition aims to help entrepreneurs and small business owners create jobs for Indiana high school and college graduates. The contest offers total prize money of $50,000 at each of three regional sites.

"Business plan competitions are part of the fabric of top-notch academic environments and have proven to be the springboards of entrepreneurship," said Joe Hornett, senior vice president, treasurer and chief operating officer of the Purdue Research Foundation. "Both are here at Purdue University and have led to successful companies in the Purdue Research Park."

Teams, which must register online by Friday (Sept. 15), will compete in one of the three regions: Greater Lafayette, Northwest Indiana and Fort Wayne. All Indiana residents are eligible to form a team, except for previous first-, second- and third-place winners.

The competition has three phases: teams submit an executive summary of their business idea by Sept. 25. From each region, 15 teams will be chosen to continue into the second phase and develop their summary into a business plan, which is due by Oct. 30. For the final phase, five teams from each regional competition will present their plans to a panel of judges. Regional winners will be announced following the finalist presentations.

The Greater Lafayette finalist competition will take place Nov. 28, followed by the Northwest Indiana finals on Nov. 29 and the Fort Wayne finals on Dec. 1.

The first-place winner in each region will receive $25,000 in prize money. Second-place winners will receive $15,000 and third-place winners will receive $10,000. Additional in-kind services and cash prizes may be awarded by associate sponsors at the regional competitions.

Competition sponsors at the Greater Lafayette competition include Indiana Small Business Development, Ernst & Young, Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union, Henriott Group, Shiel Sexton, Vistech 1, Stuart & Branigin, the Lilly Endowment and Springmill Ventures.

Competition sponsors at the Fort Wayne competition are Indiana Small Business Development Center, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Purdue University and the Lilly Endowment. For the Northwest competition, sponsors are Purdue University North Central, Purude University Calumet, Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans and the Lilly Endowment.

Registration information and the complete competition calendar are available online.

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

Sources: Kristy Smith, Purdue Research Foundation client services and public relations manager, (765) 496-6969, kjsmith@prf.org

Joe Hornett, (765) 494-8645, jbhornett@purdue.edu

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


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