Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition to mark 25 years

February 7, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Winners of this year's Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition at Purdue University will claim more than the top prize in the $100,000 event. They will win a competition that is marking its milestone 25th anniversary.

Finalists will be announced next week for the competition, which is scheduled for Feb. 21 in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121. The event will feature five finalists each in the undergraduate and open divisions. The public is invited to watch the business-plan presentations.

Richard Cosie

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"The Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition is always an exciting event and this, the 25th anniversary, promises to be no exception," said Richard Cosier, the Avrum and Joyce Gray Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and Purdue's Leeds Professor of Management. "Innovative products and services with significant potential impacts on major markets will be presented. The key to taking home the first-place prizes, however, will be well-conceived and clearly presented business plans."

Teams composed of undergraduate students will compete in the Black Division, and teams made up primarily of graduate students and faculty will compete in the Gold Division. Top prize in the Black Division is $20,000, while the winner of the Gold Division receives $30,000.

Competition sponsors are The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Purdue Krannert School of Management, Purdue Research Foundation and Ice Miller LLP.

"Burt Morgan was a loyal Purdue alumnus and, with his degree in mechanical engineering, he became a successful self-taught entrepreneur," said Deb Hoover, president and chief executive officer of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation. "Decades before entrepreneurship had a presence on college campuses, he had a vision that the entrepreneurial experience should play a meaningful role in higher education. Purdue provided the ideal proving ground for his ideas."

Deb Hoover

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Hoover, who has led The Burton D. Morgan Foundation since 2007, will deliver the keynote address at the awards dinner, which will be at 6 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Burton D. Morgan Center's Venture Café.

Hoover joined the organization in 1999 as a program officer and was elected executive vice president and treasurer in 2004. She was instrumental in establishing the foundation's Northeast Ohio Collegiate Entrepreneurship Program, a Kauffman Campuses Initiative, to spread entrepreneurship across five liberal arts campuses.

She is a vice chair of the Fund for Our Economic Future and serves as co-chair of the fund's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Action Team. She also is a member of the Commercialization Task Force for the Ohio Board of Regents and is chair of the Advisory Board for The Foundation Center-Cleveland. In addition, Hoover serves on the Board of Trustees of Western Reserve Academy and is a member of the National Council for The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.

She earned a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, in art history from Williams College, completed a master's degree at the University of Chicago and continued graduate studies at George Washington University National Law Center where she earned a law degree and was a member of the Law Review. She is a member of the bar in the District of Columbia, New Hampshire and Ohio.

The late Burton D. Morgan 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 entrepreneurship.

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation established the competition in 1987 with an endowment gift to Purdue, making it the nation's third longest-running business plan competition. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation also funded the $7 million, 31,000-square-foot Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, the first building to open in Discovery Park in 2004.

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.

Glytrix won the $30,000 top prize in the Gold Division of the most recent competition for its effort to develop a platform technology for tissue healing and regeneration that also minimizes scarring. TerraSolutions LLC, which is developing a biodegradable, corklike material for flooring, insulation and other uses from the waste and byproducts of ethanol production, was last year's winner in the Black Division.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

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

                 Deb Hoover, 330-655-1630, ?dhoover@bdmorganfdn.org