Registration underway for 8th annual Purdue Elevator Pitch Competition

March 11, 2014  

Jeanette Greener

Jeanette Greener 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A thousand dollars in just 2 minutes - now that's a quick return on an investment.

Registration is now open for the eighth annual Purdue University Elevator Pitch Competition, scheduled for 2-5 p.m. April 4 in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121, in Discovery Park. The event is organized by the university's Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

The 2014 competition includes two categories: an undergraduate student division and an open division for faculty members and staff, graduate students, entrepreneurs from Purdue Research Park companies and certificate program alumni. Individuals and teams may compete.

"This fun, fast-paced competition is an ideal opportunity to refine how to effectively convey value in a very short timeframe. It also can be a great stepping stone for success at other competitions and presentations," said Jeanette Greener, program manager for the Purdue Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

To register, go to For more information, contact Greener at 765 494-3805,

Competition sponsors this year are Otis Elevator Co., Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Allos Ventures, Indiana Spine Center, Alerding Castor Hewitt LLP, LoadOut Technologies, Purdue Federal Credit Union, VisionTech Partners and Elevate Ventures.

Otis Elevator is marking its eighth year of support for the competition, and Neil Mylet, founder and CEO of LoadOut Technologies, has provided the first sponsorship as a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Alumni.

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 T-shirt design contest is underway with the winning design being used for T-shirts given to all participants and the design winner receiving $250, Greener said.

The competition gives each participant two minutes to convey the value of a business venture idea to judges by showcasing the product or service, market and its size, competitive advantage, and plans to make the business profitable.

Last year Purdue biomedical engineering students Elizabeth Mercer and Johnny Zhang won the undergraduate division for the concept Safe Pace, which would help surgeons during an operation determine whether a pacemaker implant was mechanically stable.

Electrical engineering doctoral student Wesley Allen claimed the 2013 open division with CommSense, a sensor designed to extend the battery life for mobile devices.

The 2013 competition included 21 pitchers in the undergraduate division and 10 participants in the category for graduate students, staff and faculty members, certificate program alumni, and Purdue Research Foundation employees. For a video wrapup, go to

The Purdue Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, led by technology leadership and innovation professor Nathalie Duval-Couetil, serves more than 1,800 students each year and continues to integrate 300 new students each semester.

By the end of 2014, the Certificate Program anticipates more than 5,200 student participants and 1,700 recipients 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 the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and led by the Purdue 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,             

Sources: Jeanette Greener, 765 494-3805,

Nathalie Duval-Couetil, 765-494-7068,

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