Research Park News

September 7, 2017

$100,000 in cash prizes for upcoming Purdue business competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue students participating in the Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition should attend one of three callout informational sessions, each scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sept. 12, 13 or 14.

The annual competition held by the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Purdue’s Discovery Park offers extensive hands-on opportunities for Purdue students to develop and improve transferrable business skills and receive cash prizes totaling $100,000 to be used by winners to further commercialize their product or service. 

This competition is the flagship event of the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. It started in 1987 with an endowment gift from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, which also funded the $7 million, 31,000-square-foot Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park. 

This year’s sponsors and partners include the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the Purdue Krannert School of Management and the Purdue Honors College.

The competition is the third-oldest business competition in the nation that has centered on the creation of a business plan. This year, the competition will focus on another key business need — documenting and refining an effective business model.

 “In the last 30 years, the competition has been highly successful at helping students write plans that can transform innovations into viable businesses,” said Arnold Chen, managing director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. “The shift to creating a business model illustrates how the competition is continuing its long history of adapting to provide students with the tools they need to impact the world with their innovations.”  In the past five years alone, two winners have been named to Forbes 30 under 30 list, and six finalists have raised over $4 million in capital.

New developments include three specialized tracks available to participants: 

• Open/big idea.

• Social entrepreneurship.

• Small business.

Another important addition are monthly educational workshops that cover a broad spectrum of entrepreneurial topics, from marketing analysis to finance.

“Specialized tracks and a broad range of topics add up to tremendous value for students,” Chen said. “The student teams will select a track based on their idea and objectives. Participants will collaborate with teammates, learn about key business concepts and develop the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs.  We wanted to make sure that there was a strong educational focus to the competition so that the student teams are learning and developing their entrepreneurial skills.”

The business model competition will be on held on Feb. 22-23 in the Honors College Great Hall. Interested students should attend one of three callout sessions that will discuss competition requirements and eligibility:

  • 6 p.m., Tuesday (Sept. 12), Rawls Hall, Room 1086
  • 6 p.m., Wednesday (Sept. 13), Honors College and Residences, south building, Room 1054
  • 6 p.m., Sept. 14. Wilmeth Active Learning Center, Room 1132

For more information, contact Chen at or visit the Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition website.

About Discovery Park

Discovery Park is a place where Purdue researchers move beyond traditional boundaries, collaborating across disciplines and with policymakers and business leaders to create solutions for a better world. Grand challenges of global health, global conflict and security, and those that lie at the nexus of sustainable energy, world food supply, water and the environment are the focus of researchers in Discovery Park. The translation of discovery to impact is integrated into the fabric of Discovery Park through entrepreneurship programs and partnerships.

Writer: Lyna Landis, 765-588-3575,
Arnold Chen,

Research Park News

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