FAQ

All competition participants will be responsible for taking the proper steps to protect their intellectual property. Prior to their participation, all participants will be required to sign a disclaimer acknowledging that the competition is a public event and that judges, organizers, sponsors and other individuals involved in the event do not sign nondisclosure agreements.

The ownership of the technology must be verifiable and certifiable. Failure to do so will result in disqualification of the team and/or forfeiture of any prize money won. Teams will not be permitted to present ideas based on science and technology owned by third parties who have not licensed their technology to the presenting company (or in the case where negotiations are ongoing, expressed a clear intent to license the technology to the participants, pending agreement on terms). The organizers of the competition may disqualify any team failing to comply with the spirit and intent of this rule and shall be held harmless due to such action.

What is the Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition?

The annual business model competition encourages Purdue students to develop their unique ideas for new products or services into a profitable business. Student teams learn how to write an effective business plan while competing for cash prizes.

Is any type of business idea acceptable?

Any type of business idea is acceptable. However, teams must create a business plan describing a business idea that is wholly original and based on the independent thinking of the team. If the idea includes or is based on scientific knowledge and developments that might be considered "intellectual property," the members of the team must certify and attest to the fact that the science or innovation is the result of their independent work; any collaborators who may have participated in the work have given their permission for the science or technology to be presented in an open forum; and any monies that may result from the competition are to the benefit of the team.

The certification of the ownership of the technology must be verifiable. Failure to do so will result in disqualification of the team and/or forfeiture of any prize money won. Teams will not be permitted to present ideas based on science and technology owned by third parties who are not a member of the team or Purdue University. The organizers of the competition may disqualify any team failing to comply with the spirit and intent of this rule and shall be held harmless due to such action.

Why enter the contest?

  • Cash prizes 
  • Learn how to effective plan a business 
  • Learn how to attract investors 
  • Network with successful entrepreneurs

What are the prizes awarded?

The prize package for the tracks divisions is as follows:

Track Prizes
1st 2nd 3rd Finalist
Open 25,000 15,000 5,000 2,500
Social 15,000 10,000 5,000 2,500
Small Business 15,000 10,000 5,000 2,500

How do I enter the competition?

Attend a callout or register online; see the calendar for deadlines. Teams will then select a division to compete in:

  • Open / Big Idea: Concepts that have a very large potential market (both monetarily & geographically)
  • Social innovation / non-profit: Ideas primarily focusing on addressing socioeconomic needs/challenges – may be within developing countries or underserved populations
  • Small business: Business that will target a smaller geographic region; have a slower, methodical growth rate and be an incremental innovation to existing practice

Who is eligible to enter?

All currently enrolled Purdue students are eligible to participate in the competition. Non-students such as Purdue alumni, faculty, staff and local residents can also be team members (if they can demonstrate a connection to Purdue University), but currently enrolled Purdue students must make the final presentations to the judges. If any team has been found to have violated either the spirit or intent of this rule or the absolute language of the rule, the team may be disqualified and any prize money forfeited based on the sole discretion of the organizers, who shall be held harmless due to such actions.

Teams that placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a previous Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition are not eligible to enter the competition. Teams in the Burton D. Morgan Business Competition are only allowed to submit one plan per year, and students cannot be a member of more than one team.

Who is Burton D. Morgan?

Mr. Morgan was a successful Purdue alumnus, entrepreneur and venture capitalist who donated money to fund this competition.
Click here to learn more.

Who judges the final business plans and the competition?

The same external judges will review the written business plans and judge the presentations.

Outside Business Plan Competitions

Winning teams from the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition may represent Purdue University in other business plan competitions held throughout the nation or the world. Teams desiring to compete in other business plan competitions and desiring to represent Purdue University in those competitions must obtain permission to represent Purdue University in those competitions from the director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship well in advance of the competition.

Any team that desires financial support from Purdue University to compete in these other competitions must likewise make application to the director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, who will evaluate each request on an individual basis.

Other questions?

Please contact the BDM Center at bmc@purdue.edu for any additional questions you may have.

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