Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy awards vouchers to Indiana high school students

July 2, 2012  

Research Park vouchers

Julia Russo, from left, Brianna Bartrom, Davis Arick, A.J. Guenther and Samuel Kane receive $500 college tuition vouchers at an awards ceremony Friday (June 29) during the sixth annual Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy. Their team won a business plan competition against nine other teams made up of Indiana high school juniors and seniors. (Purdue Research Foundation photo)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Three teams of Indiana high school juniors and seniors received college tuition vouchers at the sixth annual Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy.

The Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy is a weeklong program that introduces high school students to the world of entrepreneurship, guided by local business leaders and Purdue Research Park experts. Students also experience campus life at a leading research university.

Vouchers ranging in value from $100-$500 were presented during an awards ceremony Friday (June 29) at Purdue Memorial Union's North Ballroom. The vouchers can be put toward tuition costs at Purdue University.

Fifty students from 22 Indiana counties participated in the academy. Participating students were from Adams, Bartholomew, Benton, Daviess, Hamilton, Howard, Johnson, Lake, LaPorte, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Morgan, Porter, Randolph, Ripley, St. Joseph, Steuben, Tippecanoe, Vanderburgh, Warrick and Washington counties.

The students received high-tech business cases at the beginning of the academy; each technology was the basis of a new company. Each team tested their technology's viability, identified capital needs and devised a management plan for business cases during the week. Teams presented their cases to a panel of judges, who scored each presentation. The three highest-scoring teams won vouchers.

First place and $500 vouchers went to DiagnosEASE. The students, their high school and hometown were: Davis Arick, Fishers High School, Fishers; Brianna Bartrom, Faith Christian School, West Lafayette; A.J. Guenther, Washington Township High School, Valparaiso; Sam Kane, Heritage Christian School, Indianapolis; Julia Russo, Signature School, Evansville. The team's mentor was Ahmed Amin, Microfluidic Innovations LLC.

Arick also was named the winner of the David E. Ross Award for Entrepreneurial Distinction. He received another $500 voucher with the award.

* Second place and $250 vouchers went to Cancer Detection Solutions: Amy Carpenter, Decatur Discovery Academy, Indianapolis; Adrian Chupp, Triton High School, Nappanee; Daniel Kowalski, St. Theodore Guerin High School, Fishers; Brittany Sigler, Union City High School, Union City; Ernest Xi, Columbus North High School, Columbus. The team's mentor was Anton Iliuk, Tymora Analytical Operations LLC.

* Third place and $100 vouchers went to No Scar: Zack Baker, North Daviess High School, Elnora; Lisa Campbell, Carmel High School, Carmel; Will Connelly, Marquette Catholic High School, Michigan City; Brandon Gray, Benton Central High School, Oxford; David Hon III, Roncalli High School, Indianapolis. The team's mentor was Jonathan Gortat, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization.

Other participating teams in the academy were:

CartiTech: Jeron Braxton, Hamilton Southeastern High School, Fishers; Autumn Gibson, Salem High School, Salem; Jacqueline Ruchti, Wheeler High School, Valparaiso; Brayton Skinner, Monrovia High School, Monrovia; Adam Worthington, Angola High School, Angola. The team's mentor was Don Stocks, Tymora Analytical Operations LLC.

Democrosoft: Scott Ahearn, Lawrence Central High School, Indianapolis; Connor Crowley, Bloomington High School South, Bloomington; Alexis Ford, South Adams High School, Geneva; Pooja Patel, Westfield High School, Westfield; Jacob Snyder, Harrison High School, West Lafayette. The team's mentor was Christopher Beltran, Passageways LLC.

Electrolift: Traver Clifford, North Central High School, Indianapolis; Erin Flint, Jac-Cen-Del High School, Osgood; Marilyn Preuss, Trinity School at Greenlawn, Granger; Jared Smith, Monrovia High School, Mooresville; Jacob Thieneman, St. Theodore Guerin High School, Carmel. The team's mentor was Ben Brame, Allegro Dynamics LLC.

Envirofuel: Gunther Balensiefer, Benton Central High School, West Lafayette; Sarah Brackett, Franklin Central High School, Indianapolis; Nick Gallina, St. Theodore Guerin High School, Carmel; Jonathon Jones, Salem High School, Salem; Marissa Taylor, Merrillville High School, Merrillville. The team's mentor was Michael Halbrook, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization.

Evanesce: Sydney Ballard, Noblesville High School, Noblesville; Josh Budreau, Benton Central High School, Fowler; Nathaniel Grudzinski, Castle High School, Newburgh; Dean Howdeshell, Triton High School, Bourbon; Nora Sego, St. Theodore Guerin High School, Noblesville. The team's mentor was Tom Hutton, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization.

Pestal: Yanying Chen, Carmel High School, Carmel; Caleb Copp, Taylor High School, Sharpsville; Brock Macknick, Angola High School, Angola; Andrea Onyett, Washington Catholic High School, Washington; Joseph Yurek, Munster High School, Munster. The team's mentor was Mikel Berger, DelMar Information Technologies LLC.

Veralga: Jake Cruse, Westfield High School, Westfield; Cooper Cummins, Benton Central High School, Otterbein; Taylor Hatfield, Triton High School, Etna Green; Anna Scott, Decatur Discovery Academy, Camby; Adrian White, Penn High School, Granger. The team's mentor was Neil Mylet, LoadOut Technologies LLC.

Elizabeth Hart-Wells, assistant vice president and director of the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, was keynote speaker at the awards ceremony.

Judges for the competition were Brad Addison, Barnes & Thornburg LLP; Mark Cisneros, Nutrabiotix; and David Shelby, Innovation Resources.

Academy sponsors were Accent on Business; Alley Flowers; AMIPurdue (Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development at Purdue University); CSO Architects; Bill DeFouw Chevrolet; Frontier Communications; Great Harvest Bread Company; Hot Box Pizza; Indiana Small Business Development Center; Katz, Sapper & Miller; Purdue Federal Credit Union; Purdue Research Park; Sign Art Etc.; Stuart & Branigin; and Underground Printing.

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: Tim Peoples, 765-588-3365, trpeoples@prf.org

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