Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

State Rep. Ellspermann to give talk for ENTR capstone

October 19, 2011

Indiana Rep. Sue Ellspermann, who gained her bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University, will deliver the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation's capstone class lecture at 6 p.m. next Tuesday (Oct. 25) in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121.

Ellspermann, a Republican whose southern Indiana District 74 includes portions of Dubois, Perry, Spencer and Warrick counties, will discuss legislation she has drafted that would allow entrepreneurship program graduates to pitch their businesses to Indiana communities in order to receive loans, grants space and other support to foster growth in the state's economy.

A. Dale Whittaker, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs at Purdue, will provide welcoming remarks. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required because space is limited. For more information, contact Jeanette Greener, coordinator of the certificate program, at 765-494-3805, jgreener@purdue.edu

Known as the Young Entrepreneur Auction Bill, HB1251 would establish a Young Entrepreneurs Program through the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) for promoting business proposals from students graduating in entrepreneurship programs across the state.

At least one preview would be held each year to allow communities to bid for the opportunity to bring a young entrepreneur's business to their community, the legislation states. Indiana's Office of Community and Rural Affairs also would assist rural communities in preparing for the auctions.

"This legislation drafted by Rep. Ellspermann would create an excellent support system to connect our many budding entrepreneurs at Purdue to resources at the state level," said technology leadership and innovation professor Nathalie Duval-Couetil, director of Purdue's certificate program and associate director of the Burton D. Morgan Center. "The measure also would advance commercialization efforts by Purdue in partnering with the state to foster economic development for all of Indiana."

A native of Ferdinand, Ind., Ellspermann received her bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Purdue in 1982 and served as a cooperative education student with automaker General Motors Corp. After graduation, she established a career in engineering and management at AC Spark Plug, Michelin Tire Corp. and Frito-Lay.

In 1987 she launched her own consulting firm, Ellspermann and Associates Inc., which focused on training and facilitating others in creative problem solving and strategic planning. Her clients ranged from Microsoft Corp. to the Sisters of St. Benedict.

She completed her master's and doctorate degrees in industrial engineering at the University of Louisville, with an emphasis on unstructured problem solving. Her dissertation research was recognized in 2007 as one of the top management research articles of that year.

Ellspermann also has served as founding director of the University of Southern Indiana's Center for Applied Research, an initiative designed to engage faculty, students and staff in projects that support economic and community development in southwest Indiana.

She completed the prestigious Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series, a program designed to increase the participation of women as elected officials. That yearlong program, which educates women on effective public service at the local, state and national level, helped convince her to run for public office and a seat on the Indiana House Representatives.

Purdue's capstone class is the final course required for students to receive the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This semester's guest instructor is Chad Barden, a serial entrepreneur who is now president and chief executive officer at Sorian Inc., an Indiana company developing a technology designed to make wind turbines operate more efficiently.

Purdue's Entrepreneurship Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program has enrolled more than 3,000 undergraduate students since it began in 2005. Students complete 15 credits to earn the certificate. Similar to a minor, the program is designed to begin in a student's freshman or sophomore year and can be completed in approximately four semesters. It has attracted students from every school and college.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources: Nathalie Duval-Couetil, 765-494-7068, natduval@purdue.edu

                  Sue Ellspermann, 812-461-5442, sue@sueellspermann.com

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