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March 7, 2013

Ready, set, pitch! Registration under way for Purdue elevator pitch competition

Jeanette Greener

Jeanette Greener
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A lot can happen in 2 minutes. So can winning a quick $1,000.

That's the goal for participants at the seventh annual Purdue University Elevator Pitch Competition, slated for 2-5 p.m. April 5 at Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121.

Registration has opened for the annual competition, organized by Purdue's Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

The competition will include an undergraduate student division and an open division for faculty members, graduate students, entrepreneurs from Purdue Research Park companies and certificate program alumni. To register, go to http://www.purdue.edu/entr/registration

Event sponsors are Otis Elevator Co., Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Allos Ventures, Indiana Spine Center, Alerding Castor Hewitt LLP, Purdue Federal Credit Union and StepStone Business Partners. Otis Elevator is marking its seventh year of support for the competition.

"This event is recognized as one of the most entertaining and upbeat competitions at Purdue, drawing students, faculty and staff from all across campus to hone their ability to communicate the value of their innovative idea or business concept," said Jeanette Greener, program manager for the Purdue Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

Winners in each category receive prizes of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second and $250 for third. A $500 prize also goes to the most entertaining pitch in each category.

A new addition is a T-shirt design contest for all certificate program students, Greener said. The winner will receive $250, and the design will be used for T-shirts given to all competition participants.

Hospitality and tourism management student Erin Meyer, who is participating in the certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation program and writes the popular cooking blog "The Big Fat Baker," will provide the desserts portion for the reception where competition winners will be announced.

The annual elevator pitch contest gives each participant two minutes to describe a business venture to judges, highlighting their product or service, their competitive advantage, the market and its size, and plans to make the business profitable.

Posing as venture capitalists and interacting with participants will be Dave Kitchell, a Purdue graduate, columnist and teacher who has won 60 state and national journalism awards; and fellow Purdue graduate Mike Cassidy, an instructor for the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program who launched Fortress Strategy Group in 2007 and is a partner in orthopedics industry supplier Arcamed Technology.

The Purdue Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, led by technology, leadership and innovation professor Nathalie Duval-Couetil, has enrolled nearly 4,500 undergraduate students since it began in 2005. Similar to a minor, students complete a series of five courses or experiential learning programs to earn the certificate.

Housed in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and led by the Office of the Provost, the program is available to Purdue undergraduate students in all majors. Its purpose is to make entrepreneurship an accessible career option by providing students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in business on their own terms.

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

Sources: Jeanette Greener, 765 494-3805, jgreener@purdue.edu

Nathalie Duval-Couetil, 765-494-7068, natduval@purdue.edu