Purdue's global life-sciences competition offers $100,000 in prize money
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - In a $100,000 event that's now gone global, 31 life-sciences companies from Canada to California have been selected as semifinalists for next month's seventh Purdue University Life Sciences Business Plan Competition.
The field, which includes 16 Indiana companies, will be formally narrowed from its current number to eight official teams later this month. Finalists will present their business plans from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 10 in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121. The presentations are open to the public.
"We have an extremely impressive lineup of submissions for this event," said Richard Cosier, the Avrum and Joyce Gray Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. "From the West and East coasts and into Canada, along with strong Indiana and Midwest representation, this competition offers the depth and quality of a truly world-class event. The hardest part will be to narrow the field to the final eight that will present at Purdue before our panel of judges."
The competition is worth $50,000 for first place, $25,000 for second place, $12,500 for third place and $5,000 for the fourth spot. Other finalists will receive $2,500 each. The top Indiana-based company also will receive a $10,000 prize from BioCrossroads, a lead sponsor for the Purdue competition and Indiana's initiative to grow, advance and invest in the life sciences.
Other event sponsors are the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Alfred Mann Institute, Baker & Daniels, Ernst & Young and B&D Consulting.
"As BioCrossroads approaches its 10-year anniversary in early 2012, we recognize the role that these university-driven business plan competitions can play in strengthening an already robust life-sciences industry in Indiana," said David Johnson, president and chief executive officer of BioCrossroads. "We're excited that we can be a part of this Purdue event and support the top Indiana life-science company competing in an event drawing competitors from throughout North America."
Indiana's life-sciences sector has received recognition as a national leader. In June 2009 The Economist reported, "Though every state wants to be a hub in the life sciences, Indiana actually is one ..."
More recently, The Wall Street Journal in August 2011 called the Indianapolis area a hotbed of activity for the life-sciences industry. The report cited the state's 825 life-sciences companies and 8,800 new jobs.
The Purdue competition targets startup businesses in the life-sciences arena. Companies must be three years old or younger with the equivalent of 10 or fewer full-time employees. Candiss Vibbert, associate director of engagement for Discovery Park, said winning companies at the competition also must provide documentation that they have clear access to intellectual property, a stipulation to ensure that Purdue is helping to protect the valid holders of the intellectual property and that the event is recognizing potential successful companies and not just exciting ideas.
The international competition also offers ample opportunities for networking among teams, judges, experts and attendees. Feedback sessions are available between the finalist teams and judges. Previous competitors say they also benefited from the experience of writing an effective executive summary and business plan for their company, Vibbert said.
Contact Jackie Lanter of the Burton D. Morgan Center at 765-494-1335, firstname.lastname@example.org, or go online to http://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/entrepreneurship/programs/lifesciences/ for more information about the 2011 competition.
At the sixth Purdue Life Sciences Business Plan Competition in November 2009, Massachusetts medical-therapy company Novophage Therapeutics captured the $30,000 top prize. FAST Diagnostics, an Indianapolis-based company commercializing a kidney diagnostic test, took top honors and $50,000 in cash and services in 2008.
BioCrossroads is a public-private collaboration that supports the region's existing research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development. It provides money and support to life-sciences businesses, launches new life-sciences enterprises, expands collaboration and partnerships among Indiana's life-science institutions, promotes science education, and markets Indiana's life-sciences industry.
The late Burton D. Morgan was a Purdue alumnus who started more than 50 companies, six of which have become major corporations, including Morgan Adhesives, one of the world's largest makers of pressure-sensitive adhesives. He also was president of Basic Search Co., an idea-development firm, and wrote several books on entrepreneurism.
The entrepreneurship competition started in 1987 with an endowment gift from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to Purdue. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation also funded the $7 million, 31,000-square-foot Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.
The center leads Purdue's Kauffman Campuses Initiative, which is focused on making entrepreneurship education available across the university's main and regional campuses, enabling any student, regardless of field of study, access to entrepreneurial training.
Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, email@example.com