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February 12, 2013

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

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Finalists in the undergraduate and graduate student categories have been selected for the 26th annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition, a $100,000 event slated for Feb. 19 in Discovery Park.

The five finalists making formal presentations in the undergraduate student category, known as the Black Division, are E3 Labs, Super Resolution, Cornucopia Farms, Nano Bio and Tapped. In the graduate student, or Gold Division, the five finalists are Animated Dynamics, Applied Battery Technology, Team VACCINE, Telos Discovery Systems and Skyepack.

"Our mission at Purdue is to facilitate the development and more rapid transfer of our students' business ideas and innovative technology into the marketplace. And no event has done that more directly than our annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition," said Richard Cosier, the Avrum and Joyce Gray Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center. "What an exciting lineup of enthusiastic, entrepreneurially minded students we have again this year."

The top prize in the Black Division is $20,000, while the winner of the Gold Division receives $30,000. The Black Division team presentations, at 30 minutes, will run from 8:30 to 11:35 a.m., while the Gold Division program will run from 1 to 4:05 p.m.

All presentations, which are free and open to the general public, will be in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121. Competition sponsors are the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Ice Miller LLC and Purdue's Krannert School of Management.

Alan Rebar, executive director of Discovery Park and senior associate vice president for research, will provide remarks during the awards reception and dinner, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Burton Morgan Center's Venture Café.

A look at the five undergraduate student teams in the Black Division:

* E3 Labs, a nonprofit organization dedicated to designing, developing and commercializing environmental technology with a goal of progressing sustainable development globally.

* Super Resolution, a team demonstrating the business prospects of an optic technique to improve the spatial resolution of imaging systems for both microscope and telescope with its ability to exceed the diffraction-limit of optical systems.

* Cornucopia Farm, an agritourism business in Scottsburg, Ind., focused on educating the public about agriculture and how to interact with it in their daily lives.   

* Tapped, a mobile application for iPhones and iPads that allows bars and restaurants to organize and display what beers are currently on tap, benefiting bar owners and consumers and creating an ecosystem of craft beer lovers.

* NanoBio, a nanotechnology-based in vitro diagnostics company featuring radical innovations in painless and bloodless at-home blood sugar testing.

 The five graduate student-led teams competing in the Gold Division, and a look at their presentations, are:

* Animated Dynamics, which is seeking to commercialize a new laboratory approach that selects the best anti-cancer drugs for personalized cancer care. Using tissue dynamics spectroscopy (TDS), the technique captures dynamic cellular motions deep inside living tissue. 

* Applied Battery Technology, which is a novel battery-sensing technology in development to increase rechargeable battery reliability and safety, and reduce application costs for equal end-user performance across all sectors.

* Team VACCINE, which is developing an advanced law enforcement toolkit software designed to equip law enforcement agencies and citizens with effective situational awareness and risk assessment tools for analyzing criminal, traffic and civil incident patterns in their neighborhoods.

* Telos Discovery Systems, which is advancing a drug discovery product that eliminates the need for researcher-mouse interaction, yielding more accurate behavioral data and a tenfold increase in experimental throughput. 

* Skyepack, which is a content-focused educational software environment designed to facilitate the delivery of learn-anywhere mobile content as an alternative to texts, course packs and class handouts. 

For information about competition details, contact Bambrah Miller of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at 765-494-1335, bambrah@purdue.edu.

The late Burton D. Morgan was a Purdue alumnus who started 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 to Purdue from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. The Morgan Foundation also funded the $7 million, 31,000-square-foot 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, pfiorini@purdue.edu

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

Bambrah Miller, 765-494-1335, bambrah@purdue.edu