November 6, 2007
Purdue seeks entrants for life sciences business plan competitorsWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Teams must submit an e-mail entry form and executive summary by Monday (Nov. 12) to enter the fifth annual Purdue University Life Sciences Business Plan Competition. The event takes place on Feb. 28, 2008.
Teams based at universities and colleges, research and teaching hospitals, and other academic institutions engaged in bioresearch are eligible to enter. While there is no restriction on the number of team members, teams should have at least one member with business experience.
The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park conducts the annual competition with support from associate sponsors the Lilly Endowment, Baker & Daniels LLP, B&D Consulting LLC, Ernst & Young, and BioCrossroads.
"Interest in this international competition continues to grow, and it shows in that the total prize money climbed by $40,000 this year to $174,000," said Alan H. Rebar, executive director of Discovery Park and interim director of the Burton Morgan Center.
"While $50,000 in cash and services for the top winner might not be enough to start a business, this event has helped past winners develop their prototypes and solidify their business models. Having the names of Purdue, Lilly Endowment and BioCrossroads on the event also has helped winners obtain private funding from venture capital firms and others."
From the initial entries, 20 semifinalists will be selected by Dec. 6 to submit full business plans. The list will narrow to eight finalists who will be asked to make 45-minute presentations on Feb. 28 to a panel of judges at the entrepreneurship center in Discovery Park. Teams will have the opportunity to display their technologies and marketing materials at an exposition on Feb. 27.
The panel of judges includes venture capitalists, scientists, attorneys, accountants and academics. Winners will be announced at a banquet in the evening, following the competition.
Teams may be fledgling enterprises seeking seed capital or those further along in the commercialization process, including firms that have received grants, venture capital or equity investments, but entrants can have no third-party intellectual property agreements.
This year's top prize of $50,000 is being awarded in memory of Don Blewett, former associate director of the Burton Morgan Center who died on Jan. 15, 2007.
"Don had a keen interest in learning and an even greater appreciation for relationships and people," Rebar said. "He was instrumental in the success of past competitions, was a wonderful co-worker and gentleman, and is greatly missed by the Purdue University family."
The winner also will receive $10,000 in legal and business services. Second prize is $35,000, plus $8,000 in legal and business services, and third prize is $25,000, plus $6,000 in legal and business services. Fourth prize is $20,000, fifth prize $10,000, sixth prize $5,000, seventh place $3,000, and eighth prize $2,000.
BioCrossroads, an organization focused on growing Indiana's life sciences industry, is offering a $10,000 prize for the best plan and presentation by an Indiana-based team. Associate sponsor Baker & Daniels is contributing $12,000 in legal and consulting services to the top three finishers. Associate sponsor Ernst & Young is providing $12,000 in financial advisory services.
NeuroLife Noninvasive Solutions took top honors and $60,000 in cash and services in last year's competition when a total of $134,000 in prizes was awarded. NeuroLife is a Pittsburgh-based company that is developing a patent-pending device that is designed for non-invasive diagnosis of brain swelling and potential brain damage.
The Burton Morgan Center in Purdue's Discovery Park brings together existing entrepreneurial efforts on campus, including technology transfer activities, an undergraduate entrepreneurship certificate program and other entrepreneurial competitions, speakers and events.
The center leads Purdue's Kauffman Campuses Initiative for fostering entrepreneurship programs across campus. It also serves as a resource for Purdue researchers to commercialize their discoveries and as the intellectual center for entrepreneurial philosophy and issues.
Inquiries about the competition should be directed to Jackie Lanter of Discovery Park at email@example.com, (765) 494-6400.
Writer: Phillip Fiorini, (765) 496-3133, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Alan H. Rebar, (765) 496-6625, email@example.com
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org
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