Glytrix, TerraSolutions take top honors at 23rd annual business-plan competition

February 24, 2010

Jacob Smoker, an agricultural economics major from LaPorte, Ind., outlines the environmental benefits of his company's TerraMat product, made from ethanol production byproducts. Jacob and his brother Matthew delivered the winning presentation about their company concept, TerraSolutions LLC, in the undergraduate student division of the 23rd annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition on Tuesday. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Student-led companies that develop consumer products from the byproducts of ethanol production and a tissue-healing technology that also reduces scarring took top honors at Purdue University's 23rd annual $100,000 Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition.

Glytrix, which has developed a platform technology for tissue healing and regeneration that also minimizes scarring, received $30,000 for its victory in the Gold Division. The team is led by Joshua Cox, John Paderi, Alyssa Panitch and Kate Stuart.

TerraSolutions LLC, led by brothers Jacob and Matthew Smoker of LaPorte, Ind., won the $20,000 top prize in the Black Division for undergraduate students. The company is developing a biodegradable, cork-like material for flooring, insulation and other uses from the waste and byproducts of ethanol production.

The winners were announced Tuesday night (Feb. 23) at an awards dinner following a full day of business-plan presentations from the 10 finalists at Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

"This $100,000 annual event showcased some of Purdue's most creative and innovative student-led business concepts, and we saw 10 examples today of how bright the future looks through this next generation of entrepreneurs," said Richard Cosier, co-director of the Burton D. Morgan Center and dean of Purdue's Krannert School of Management. "The judges earned their keep again this year in both the undergraduate and graduate divisions in determining which ideas show the quickest and most viable paths to the marketplace."

BioRegeneration Technologies received the $15,000 second prize in the Gold Division. The company is working to commercialize a naturally derived biomaterial scaffold developed by Purdue researchers for tissue regeneration following an injury. It is led by Leonard Kim, Darryl Dickerson, Theresa Gordon and Eric Nauman.

Purdue MBA student Joshua Cox helps deliver the winning presentation for Glytrix, a company developing a tissue-healing technology that also reduces scarring, at the 23rd annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition on Tuesday. Glytrix captured the $30,000 top prize in the Gold Division, which is open to Purdue graduate students and others. (Purdue University photo/Richard Myers-Walls)

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Pinta, which is developing search and recommending software that make academic and research information more accessible and useful, received $7,500 for finishing third. Team members are Yi Fang, Anthony Sharpe, Nadim Ahmed, Luo Si Aditya Mathur and Suli Xi.

Receiving $3,750 each as finalists in the Gold Division, which is open to graduate students with faculty, local entrepreneurs and Purdue alumni as supporting team members, were:

* PathoCare, which is developing a service designed to reduce the human and economic cost of infections in health-care settings. Team members are Colin Sandbach and Michael Triana.

* Smart Hydraulic Solutions, which is in the process of licensing patents for swash plate pump components from Purdue that have proven to increase pump efficiencies by up to 12 percent. Team members are Eric Lynch, Dheeraj Pandey, Anuj Bathla and Roman Ivantysyn.

In the Black Division, ROPES, or Rapid Orthopedic Pelvic Emergency Splint, finished second, claiming the $10,000 prize. The company, led by Jeffrey Fisher and John Poltrack, is designing a product that would help emergency responders stabilize a pelvic fracture faster and more effectively than other current methods.

Receiving the $5,000 third-place prize in the Black Division was eXdeveloped, which is designing a product to view and analyze the eXtensible business reporting language. Team members are Parker Woods and Joshua Hall.

Rounding out the Black Division and receiving $2,500 each were finalists:

* CFB Engineering, which is developing an unmanned aerial vehicle for use in reconnaissance and aerial photography. Team members are Matt Cherry, Nathan Forton and Anthony Braun.

* High Gen, which is working to provide design and implementation services for highway projects using a wind-generated power system for lighting roadways and other utilities. It is led by Christopher Edward and Katelyn Kulczyk.

New this year, a student on the top finishing team in each division is eligible for a $5,000 annual Krannert scholarship to its full-time MBA program. The student must apply within five years and meet admissions requirements. In addition, winners from each category are eligible for one seat in Krannert's two-week Applied Management Principles program, commonly known as a mini-MBA, offered each May.

Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller LLP, which has provided scholarship funding for Purdue's Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, also will provide in-kind services to the competition's top finishers.

Each team had 20 minutes for their presentation and 10 minutes for questions from the judges during the event. Event sponsors were the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and Krannert School of Management at Purdue and Ice Miller LLP.

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

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,

Sources: Richard Cosier, 765-494-4366,
                  Kate Stuart, Glytrix, 765-496-1460,
                  Jacob Smoker, TerraSolutions, 219-707-6582,
                  Jackie Lanter, Burton D. Morgan Center, 765-494-1335,