Registration deadline approaches for the 28th annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition

October 16, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE - Registration is underway for the 28th annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition, the third-oldest business plan competition in the country, slated for Feb. 17 at Purdue University's Discovery Park.

Any Purdue student looking for the opportunity to define their business ideas in commercial terms can compete for $100,000 in prizes. The deadline to register is noon on Oct. 24. To register, go to

"The annual Burton Morgan Business Plan Competition has grown into one of the nation's longest-running university business plan competitions," said Joseph Pekny, interim director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and a chemical engineering professor. "We're excited to offer this competition and $100,000 in cash prizes to Purdue students from any discipline who dream of turning an idea into a successful venture."

Teams can compete in either the Gold Division, which is open to all graduate and undergraduate students in any discipline, or the Black Division, which is solely for undergraduates. The Gold Division winner from the five finalists will receive a $30,000 top prize, while the top five undergraduate teams in the Black Division will compete to win $20,000.

Registered teams have until Nov. 6 to complete an executive summery from which the semifinalists will be chosen. Semifinalists will be announced by 5 pm Dec. 8, and business plans for these top teams must be filed by Jan. 5. Ten finalist teams will be announced Feb. 6 for those that will compete at the daylong event on Feb. 17 in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

To provide a representative balance of business and technical expertise, judges are drawn from different functional and industry areas. Teams will be evaluated on commercial, technical and financial viability as well as the strength of their management team.

For more information about the competition, contact Bambrah Walker of the Burton D. Morgan Center at 765-494-1335,

Sponsors include the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and Krannert School of Management. Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller, which has provided scholarship funding for Purdue's Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, will provide free legal and consulting services to the top three finishers in the Gold Division.

The late Burton D. Morgan was a Purdue alumnus who started 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 competition started in 1987 with an endowment gift to Purdue from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. The Morgan Foundation also funded the $7 million, 31,000-square-foot Center for Entrepreneurship, the first building to open in Discovery Park in 2004.

The Burton Morgan Center, through its sponsored initiatives and partnerships - including the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Technology Realization Program, Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy and business plan competitions - aims to stimulate entrepreneurship at Purdue and serves as a state, regional and national resource.

The building also is home to the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub that opened in July to provide assistance in areas such as product ideation and market analysis as well as business-plan development, alumni and faculty mentoring, and help in finding funding. 

Writers: Emily Sigg, 765-494-4719,

Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,             

Sources: Joseph Pekny, 765-494-7901,

Bambrah Walker, 765-494-1335,

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