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July 2, 2013

Indiana high school students showcase entrepreneurship skills, win tuition vouchers

Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy winners

From left, Corey Lutz, Mikaela Meyer, Dillon Fernando, Maggie Koch and Alysa Woodall, received $500 college tuition vouchers at an awards ceremony Friday (June 28) at the conclusion of the seventh annual Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy. Fifty Indiana high school students participated in the academy, which introduced them to the entrepreneurial process. (Purdue Research Park photo)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The state of Indiana could develop a more diverse, robust economy in the future thanks to 50 high school students who learned about the entrepreneurial process during a weeklong academy held at Purdue University.

The seventh annual Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy was June 23-28. Local business leaders and Purdue Research Park experts guided the students, who also experienced campus life at a leading research university.

Ten teams of five participants each received high-tech business cases at the beginning of the academy. Teams during the week tested their technology's viability, identified capital needs and devised a management plan for business cases. They then presented their cases to a panel of judges, who scored each presentation. The three highest-scoring teams won tuition vouchers that were presented during a June 28 awards ceremony; the vouchers are accepted at all Purdue University campuses.

First place and $500 vouchers went to House Top Turbine. The students, their high schools and hometowns were: Dillon Fernando, Carroll High School, Fort Wayne; Maggie Koch, Beech Grove High School, Beech Grove; Corey Lutz, Princeton High School, Patoka; Mikaela Meyer, Chesterton High School, Valparaiso; and Alysa Woodall, White River Valley High School, Switz City. Tim Peoples of the Purdue Research Foundation was the team's mentor.

Second place and $250 vouchers went to Bumblebee Technologies. The students, their high schools and hometowns were: Lisa Fleener, Oak Hill High School, Amboy; Jonathan Gerth, Franklin Central High School, Marion; Alexandra Magallon, Highland High School, Highland; Katherine Shively, West Lafayette High School, West Lafayette; and Shuchay Subramanian, Signature High School, Newburgh. Don Stocks, an independent management consultant, mentored the team.

Third place and $100 vouchers went to PestOff. The students, their high schools and hometowns were: Eric Buedel, Harrison High School, Evansville; Eric Moorman, North Decatur High School, Greensburg; Elyce Stephenson, Franklin Township High School, Indianapolis; Asha Walker, Calumet New Tech High School, Gary; and Elizabeth Wilks, John Glenn High School, Knox. Anton Iliuk of Tymora Analytical Operations was the team's mentor.

The "Most Entrepreneurial Team" award went to CarpeSol. The students, their high schools and hometowns were: Shelby Breen, Sheridan High School, Sheridan; Anthony Cheng, Frankfort High School, Frankfort; Katarina McGuckin, La Lumiere School, Long Beach; Samuel O'Dell, New Palestine High School, New Palestine; and Samuel Wernert, South Newton High School, Brook. Christopher Beltran of Passageways was the team's mentor.

The David E. Ross Award for Entrepreneurial Distinction was presented to Samuel Wernert of South Newton High School.

Other teams were:

Amerisafe. Cassandra Flener, Castle High School, Newburgh; Teng Lee, Kokomo High School, Kokomo; Caitlin Moss, Noblesville High School, Noblesville; Lisa Otto, Triton High School, Bourbon; and Josh Shalen, Munster High School, Munster. Michael Halbrook of the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization was the team's mentor.

Dissiplate. Rachel Hutzel, Central Catholic High School, Lafayette; Krishan Kumar, Terre Haute South High School, Terre Haute; Kara Latham, Noblesville High School, Noblesville; Ryan Schwartz, Lakewood Park Christian School, Leo; and Taryn Trusty, Chesterton High School, Chesterton. Ahmed Amin of Microfluidic Innovations was the team's mentor.

Infinitus. Jared Lehman, Adams Central High School, Decatur; Susannah Pritchett-Montavon, Lawrence North High School, Indianapolis; Bane Stayrook, North Judson-San Pierre High School, North Judson; Simone Stew, Crown Point High School, Crown Point; and Chad Stucky, Benton Central High School, Oxford. Jonathan Gortat of the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization was the team's mentor.

INsight. Lucy Eisgruber, Bishop Chatard High School, Indianapolis; Maryl Gerst, Lakeland Christian Academy, Warsaw; Cameron Greene, Harrison High School, West Lafayette; David Keating, South Central High School, Hanna; and Thomas Newby, North Daviess High School, Bloomfield. Steve Ouellette, a Purdue University post-doctoral student, was the team's mentor.

Efficient Breeze. Addison Dempsay, Chesterton High School, Chesterton; Stan Mattingly, Guerin Catholic High School, Westfield; Huldah Ohiani-Jegede, Merrillville High School, Merrillville; Kyle Thompson, Franklin High School, Franklin; and Brittany Weber, Rivet High School, Vincennes. Drew Otte, a Purdue University post-doctoral student, mentored the team.

Naturally Efficient Enterprises. Ryan Arnold, Lakewood Park Christian School, Fort Wayne; George Chien, West Lafayette High School, West Lafayette; Brandon Hamill, Valparaiso High School, Valparaiso; Abbey Hartwiger, Lakeland Christian Academy, Warsaw; and Amarylla Judd, Decatur Discovery Academy, Indianapolis. Aaron Trembath of NanoBio Interfacing Systems mentored the team.

Mike Hiles, vice president of research at Cook Biotech Inc., was keynote speaker at the awards ceremony. Judges were Brad Addison, Barnes & Thornburg; Mark Cisneros, Nutrabiotix; Susan Davis, Hoosier Heartland Small Business Development Center; and Tony Denhart, GE.

Sponsors of the seventh annual Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy were Accent on Business, Barnes & Thornburg, Bill DeFouw Chevrolet-BMW, Coldwell Banker Shook, CSO Architects, Duke Energy Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Great Harvest Bread Co., Greater Lafayette Chamber, Henriott Group, Hot Box Pizza, Purdue Federal Credit Union, Purdue Research Foundation, Ronald Blue & Co., Sign Art Etc., The National Group, Underground Printing and White Iris Designs.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park, with four locations across Indiana, has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The parks are home to about 200 companies that employ 4,000 people and are located in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany.

Purdue Research Park contact: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org 

Source: Juliana Casavan, 765-588-3368, jbcasavan@prf.org