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April 19, 2007

Statistical database, medical research firm win pitch competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A statistical research database and a company that develops early-stage cancer detection methods took top honors in Purdue University's Elevator Pitch Competition.

Approximately 30 entrants had two minutes or less to present business ventures or ideas to a potential investor. Friday's (April 13) competition was organized by the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Otis Elevator Company and Bose McKinney and Evans LLP were sponsors.

The $1,000 first place prize in the student division went to FastStats, an online reference tool that was pitched to a fictional funder by Taner Kipfer, a junior in industrial engineering from Fremont, Ind., and John Clauss, a sophomore in liberal arts from New Canaan, Conn.

In the faculty division, the $1,000 first place award went to chemistry professor Dan Raftery for his pitch on MatrixBio, a startup company based in Purdue Research Park. MatrixBio uses advanced analytical methods to analyze small molecules in the blood that change concentrations in the presence of cancer.

Second prize of $500 in the student division was awarded to Brian Paplaski, a sophomore in management from Libertyville, Ill., for his pitch about My Custom Pond, and a $250 third prize went to Maria Lorena Roa, a freshman in liberal arts from Bogota, Colombia, for her pitch on ecloset.biz.

The faculty second prize of $500 went to Jim Bartek, from Seyet LLC. Third prize of $250 was awarded to Sean Henedy from Aerial Image Inc. Both are startup companies based at Purdue Research Park.

Judges were Peter Augustine, Otis Elevator Company branch manager; Jim Beall, president of The Plan Consulting Group; Susan Davis, regional director of the Small Business Development Center; Jeff Kirk, attorney, business services and sci-tech practice groups, Bose McKinney and Evans LLP; and Tim Peoples, director of Purdue Technology Centers.

Writer: Maggie Morris, (765) 494-2432, maggiemorris@purdue.edu

Source: Nathalie Duval-Couetil, associate director, Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, (765) 494-7068, natduval@purdue.edu

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

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