February 22, 2017

Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition announces finalists as it marks 30 years at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Ten teams of Purdue students will put their best pitch forward in the hopes of winning a share of the $100,000 in prize money at the upcoming 30th annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition.

The event will be held Tuesday (Feb. 28) at the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Team presentations run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are open to the public. An awards dinner will follow.

The finalists are divided into two divisions: Gold Division for graduate students, and Black Division for undergraduates.

The winner from among the five Gold Division finalists will receive a $30,000 top prize. In the Black Division, five undergraduate teams will compete for the $20,000 top prize.

“We continue to be amazed at the quality and intelligence of Purdue students, and certainly this competition brings out the best in each of them and serves as a launchpad for new learning, applying new skills and as a starting point for a number of new ventures,” said Greg Deason, Purdue Research Foundation senior vice president and director of innovation and entrepreneurship. “It is an incredible milestone to be in our 30th year of this competition, and we wait with great anticipation to see the competitors display their ideas and talent. Virtually everyone here at Purdue has a big idea. This competition will serve for many as the first step in seeing their idea have impact.”

Gold Division teams are:

* ZeaVaxx, a vaccine company that is dedicated to providing farmers and veterinarians around the world with the best animal vaccines. At the current stage, ZeaVaxx is planning to develop a new influenza vaccine for pigs with a novel nanosized biodegradable vaccine delivery system. 

* Tri-D Dynamics aims to manufacture affordable and efficient rocket engines for rapid SmallSat launch vehicle development and operations. Rocket engines are often the most critical, yet costliest, components of launch vehicles. Tri-D Dynamics is a new startup using patent-pending processes to enable the manufacture of rocket engines that are more cost-efficient, quicker to produce, and lower in weight than any others out in the market. 

* Sustainable Plastic Products (SP2) has developed an environmentally friendly laminate composite that removes known carcinogens that are part of the current laminate composite products used in a variety of applications, including flooring, furniture, abrasives and plywood.

* PathVis, a diagnostics company specializing in smartphone technologies to monitor and track the next big pathogen outbreak, aims to provide real-time data to identify global disease hot spots.

* Expimetrics, which has developed a web-based platform and mobile apps to provide a growing pool of respondents to take mobile-based surveys, create interactive surveys, schedule them over multiple days and events and collect real-time, real-world data using mobile-based interactive surveys.

Black Division teams are:

* US DiDi, is a resource-sharing system for Chinese students and scholars with services provided on basic necessities of college life including shelter, transportation, academic and entertainment.

* LOQBOX, aims to be the first household name in IoT (Internet of Things) products. Similar to Amazon’s Alexa, the LOQBOX will allow consumers to control any door lock from their phone, tablet, or computer, from anywhere in the world. The LOQBOX will be priced under a $100 and be installable in minutes, with no tools required. 

* LEAP makes IoT devices and software to break down barriers between students who have disabilities and educators.

* Hydro Grow makes an automated, aero-ponic appliance, similar to a Keureg, that allows individuals to grow produce in their home or place of business. Seed cups will be sold to customers through a membership as a continuous revenue stream.

* HydraMatic is an innovative center-pivot irrigation system designed with proprietary technology that will allow small farmers to irrigate crops in areas that were previously not accessible to any type of irrigation system and increase yields and income opportunities for these farmers.

Adranos Energetics LLC won top spot in the Gold Division in 2016 for their rocket fuel formula which will allow military and space vehicles to travel further and carry larger payloads while being safer for the environment. The group won $30,000 in the Purdue competition and was able to increase that to over $150,000 via other competitions.

This competition is the flagship event of the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. It started in 1987 with an endowment gift from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, which also funded the $7 million, 31,000-square-foot Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park. 

Writer: Tim Doty, 765-496-2571, doty2@purdue.edu 

Sources: Arnold Chen, Managing Director, acchen@purdue.edu

Greg Deason, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 765-588-5254 gwdeason@prf.org

Bambrah Walker, Program Coordinator, 765-494-1335, bambrah@purdue.edu

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