Finalists selected for Purdue's $100,000 Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition

February 11, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Ten Purdue University student teams have been selected as finalists to present their entrepreneurial ambitions on Feb. 22 during the 24th annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition.

Five teams are in the Gold Division, which is open to graduate and undergraduate students and faculty. Another five teams are in the Black Division, which is limited to undergraduates.

The event, which offers $100,000 in prize money, will run from 8:30-11:55 a.m. for the Black Division presentations and 1-4:15 p.m. for Gold Division presentations in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121.

In the Gold Division, the five teams presenting are LyoGo, Sorian, TeslaWeave, Tymora Analytical and Vocordys. Finalists for the Black Division are GrowLite, RollOut Green, The LAKE Water Sports Complex, WalkThrough and Battle Ground Technologies.

The Gold Division winner will receive $30,000, while Black Division teams are competing for a $20,000 top prize.

Richard Cosier

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"Over the years, the quality of these student-led business plans and the caliber of the presenters seem to rise," said Richard Cosier, director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. "Purdue is excited to host one of the nation's longest-running university business plan competitions as we advance our mission to help launch businesses, create jobs and grow Indiana's economy."

The competition process started last fall with 65 initial submissions. The final five Black and Gold division teams were selected by a panel of judges and made official Friday (Feb. 11).

Each team has 20 minutes for its presentation and 10 minutes for questions from judges.

The public is invited to watch the event, which is sponsored by the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Krannert School of Management, Ice Miller LLP and Purdue Research Park.

For the second straight year, a student on the top finishing team in each division is eligible for a $5,000 annual Krannert scholarship to its full-time MBA program. The student must apply within five years and meet admissions requirements. In addition, winners from each category are eligible for one seat in Krannert's two-week Applied Management Principles program, commonly known as a mini-MBA, offered each May.

Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller LLP, which has provided scholarship funding for Purdue's Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, also will provide in-kind services to the competition's top finishers.

In 2010 Glytrix, which has developed a platform technology for tissue healing and regeneration that also minimizes scarring, received $30,000 for its Gold Division victory. The team was led by Joshua Cox, John Paderi, Alyssa Panitch and Kate Stuart.

TerraSolutions LLC, led by brothers Jacob and Matthew Smoker of LaPorte, Ind., won the $20,000 top prize in the Black Division. The company is developing a biodegradable, corklike material for flooring, insulation and other uses from the waste and byproducts of ethanol production.

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation established the competition in 1987 with an endowment gift to Purdue, making it the nation's third longest-running business plan competition. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation also funded the $7 million, 31,000-square-foot Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, the first building to open in Discovery Park in 2004. 

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

Source:  Richard Cosier, 765-494-4366, rcosier@purdue.edu