Purdue News

November 24, 2004

Quadraspec wins Purdue-Lilly Endowment biz plan competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Quadraspec, a West Lafayette company that aims to commercialize protein-diagnostics technology with a wide range of applications, took the top prize Tuesday (11/23) in the $50,000 Opportunity for Indiana Business Plan Competition.

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Quadraspec's Brian Weichel made the presentation of the company's business plan that won the $25,000 first prize and $5,000 in business services from Indianapolis accounting Ernst & Young. Quadraspec is affiliated with the Purdue Research Park but does not yet have offices there.

The company's technology, which uses a direct optical protein detection technique and encodes the protein identification results on a compact disk, was developed at Purdue by physics professor David Nolte. The applications for the technology include analyzing human blood to be screened for diseases and industrial applications such as water testing. A longer term potential use for the technology is in advanced protein research.

"We've been running real lean, so winning this competition is very positive," Weichel said. "This is not only needed cash before we go for first-round seed capital investment but also a nice feather for our company cap."

Second place, which brought a $15,000 prize and $2,500 in Ernst & Young business services, went to Artistrunway.com from Indianapolis, whose principals presented a plan to represent visual artists' work on a Web site and market the works to corporations and individual consumers.

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Artistrunway.com's president and CEO Loree Everette said, "We have a simple idea of helping those in the artistic community – painters, sculptors, photographers, and interior, jewelry and fashion designers. Our company is not just about dollars. That can't be what's life is all about. We're committed to good artists and presenting good art to consumers."

Third place and $10,000 and $1,000 in Ernst & Young business services went to Imaginestics, a West Lafayette startup, that provides data and knowledge management for manufacturing companies.

Coming in fourth and fifth, respectively, were Triformis, an Indianapolis clinical technology firm, and Sightwave Binoculars with a patented digital binocular prototype, based in Zionsville, Ind.

The regional business plan competition, which took place at the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurship Center in Purdue's Discovery Park, was sponsored by the Lilly Endowment, the entrepreneurship center and Purdue Research Park. The competition was one of three being held statewide. A competition took place Monday (Nov. 22) in Fort Wayne, and the final event will be Dec. 1 at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Ind.

The Lilly Endowment funds that are sponsoring the competitions are part of a $3.5 million, three-year Opportunity for Indiana grant, which aims to provide more opportunities and good jobs for graduates of the state's colleges, universities, technical schools and high schools.

Other sponsors for the West Lafayette event were Ernst & Young, Indianapolis; CSO Architects, Indianapolis; Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union, Lafayette; Shiel Sexton, Indianapolis; Research Properties LLC; Stewart & Branigan, Lafayette; and the University Inn and Conference Center, West Lafayette.

Richard A. Cosier, director of the Burton D. Morgan Center and Krannert School of Management dean, said, "All five finalists were tremendous. In addition to teaching our students about entrepreneurism, one of our charges at the entrepreneurship center is to commercialize Purdue technology and send it to the Purdue Research Park for incubation."

Don Blewett, associate director of the entrepreneurship center, said the competitions are open to Indiana startups and businesses that want to expand. Entrants from outside Indiana can enter if they locate within the state. Competitions are scheduled for 2005 and 2006.

Judges for the West Lafayette competition were Bill Hinjst, Research Properties LLC, Fowler; Gail Koehler, Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union; Monty Korte, Ernst & Young LLC, Indianapolis; Eric Murphy, University Inn, Lafayette; Kevin Potter, Shiel Sexton, Indianapolis; Rick Spykman, Stuart and Branigan LLP; and Alan Tucker, CSO Architects, Indianapolis.

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is the first of six centers in Purdue's Discovery Park. The other centers are the Birck Nanotechnology Center, Bindley Bioscience Center, Discovery Learning Center, e-Enterprise Center and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing. The new Biomedical Engineering Building also will be located in Discovery Park.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu

Sources: Brian Weichel, Quadraspec, (630) 730-5999, bweichel@purdue.edu

Loree Everette, Artistrunway.com, (317) 439-4355, support@artistway.com

Richard Cosier, (765) 494-4366, rcosier@mgmt.purdue.edu

Don Blewett, (765) 494-4485, blewett@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

 

Note to Journalists: Video b-roll is available by contacting Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu.

Related news release:
BioCDs could hit No. 1 on doctors' charts

 

PHOTO CAPTION:
Don Blewett, at far right, presents the $25,000 top prize Tuesday (Nov. 23) in the $50,000 Opportunity for Indiana Business Plan Competition to representatives of Quadraspec, from left, Eric Davis, Chad Barden and Brian Weichel. Blewett is associate director of Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in West Lafayette, where the competition took place. Quadraspec is a West Lafayette company that aims to commercialize protein-diagnostics technology with a wide range of applications. The company's technology was developed at Purdue by physics professor David Nolte. The West Lafayette competition was one of three statewide co-sponsored by the Lilly Endowment as part of its $3.5 million, three-year Opportunity for Indiana grant. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at http://ftp.purdue.edu/pub/uns/+2004/lilly-winners.jpg

PHOTO CAPTION:
Molly Pentecost, Artistway.com's director of marketing, makes the business plan presentation that won second place and $15,000 Tuesday (Nov. 23) in the $50,000 Opportunity for Indiana Business Plan Competition. Artistway.com represents visual artists' work on a Web site and markets the works to corporations and individual consumers. The West Lafayette competition was one of three statewide co-sponsored by the Lilly Endowment as part of its $3.5 million, three-year Opportunity for Indiana grant. The competition took place at Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Discovery Park. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at http://ftp.purdue.edu/pub/uns/+2004/lilly-presentation.jpg

 

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