Certificate Program students receive top honors at the Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition
March 23, 2009
In the Black Division:
* MuZation LLC, an Internet site that helps music composers connect, took the $10,000 second prize. The company is headed Niranjan Venkatesh, an industrial engineering student, and Joshua Hall, who is studying computer information technology.
* Hide and Seek and SystemConv Solutions each received $2,500 for fourth and fifth places. Hide and Seek is an aircraft design and building company headed by aeronautical and astronautical engineering students Matthew Cherry, Anthony Braun and Nathan Forton. SystemConv Solutions, a data, voice and video service company, is led by electrical engineering students Kiran Akkineni and Adrian Delancy and computer engineering student Madhur Srivastava.
Division winner Mission MatchUp is a social networking Web site that provides custom interfaces for individuals to create, distribute and raise funds for service trips. Team leaders Hudson is a computer graphics technology major from Schererville, Ind., and Paplaski of Libertyville, Ill., is studying accounting.
In the Gold Division:
* Liquid Qinetics, a company focused on manipulating liquid droplets through a light-pattern technology, won the $15,000 second prize. Presenters were mechanical engineering students Aloke Kumar of Calcutta, India; Han-Sheng Chuang of Taiwan; and Stuart Williams of Louisville.
* SiMetal, a company developing an LED manufacturing method that uses silicon wafers instead of sapphire or silicon carbide, claimed $7,500 for third place. Presenters were MBA students Carlos Kemeny, Jimmy Cruse and Derrick Deardorff.
* True North Performance and BIOSCAT each received $3,750 for fourth and fifth places. Led by Krannert MBA student Brady Kalb, True North is developing an Internet-based assessment tool for the market research industry. BIOSCAT, led by Nan Bai, Hsin-tsai Liu, Monica Chiang and Euiwon Bae, specializes in identification instruments for biological samples.
Division winner Microfluidic Innovations is developing a general-purpose, programmable lab-on-a-chip device to perform chemical and biological analyses with more precision, speed and lower cost than its bench-top counterparts. Amin, the team presenter, is a native of Cairo, Egypt, who is studying electrical and computer engineering. He was joined by engineering students Mithuna Thottethodi and T.N. Vijaykumar.
In addition to the prize money, Ice Miller LLP will provide free legal and consulting services for the top three finishers in the Gold Division. The value of those services is $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place. The top three winners in each division also receive affiliate status at the Purdue Research Park, enabling them to access business services there.
Teams made 20-minute business plan presentations and then fielded 10 minutes of questions from a panel of 12 judges from industry, academia and the venture capital sectors. The winners were announced at a reception and dinner Tuesday night (Feb. 24) at Burton Morgan's Venture Café.
- Sascha Harrell