sealPurdue News

January 24, 2003

Purdue business plan prize climbs to $144,000 thanks to 4 new sponsors

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Four new associate sponsors have raised the prizes to $144,000 in a Purdue University business plan competition taking place in April.

Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) and the Indiana Health Industry Forum together are contributing $20,000 for the best business plan presented by an Indiana-connected team in the inaugural Purdue University Life Sciences Business Plan Competition. The event will take place on the West Lafayette campus April 22-23.

Indianapolis-based law firm Baker & Daniels and its health technologies consulting affiliate Aventor is contributing $10,000 to support the competition and a total of $12,000 in services to the top three finishers. Clifton Gunderson LLP, a national accounting firm with an office in Indianapolis, is contributing $5,000 to support the competition and a total of $12,000 in services to the top three finishers.

The lead sponsors of the business plan competition are Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and Roche Diagnostics, located in Indianapolis, which is contributing $100,000 in prize money for business plans that describe the path to market for products and technologies in the life sciences, biotechnology and biomedicine.

Teams must submit their full business plans by March 10. 

"Our sponsors' generosity has moved this business plan to the top level of business plan competition prize money," said Richard A. Cosier, director of the center for entrepreneurship and dean of the Krannert School of Management. "The Indiana Health Industry Forum-CICP prize for the best plan by an Indiana-based team, together with Roche's lead sponsorship, shows that the public and private sectors are pulling together to build upon our strong foundation of life sciences here in Indiana.

"The associate sponsorships of Baker & Daniels and Clifton Gunderson are further endorsements of both the quality of this event and their confidence in Indiana's future economic potential in the life sciences."

Wade Lange, president and CEO of the Indiana Health Industry Forum, said: "Our state's research and entrepreneurial communities are key assets upon which we will continue to build our growing health and life sciences industry. We are pleased to partner with the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership to recognize and reward those teams who are the real champions of our state's future."

Anne K. Shane, CICP project director for the Central Indiana Life Sciences Initiative, said: "We are pleased to be a part of recognizing Purdue University and Roche Diagnostics' leadership in creating this competition. Through the contribution of this prize money we also want to do everything we can to recognize Indiana-based talent and keep those assets here in Indiana."

Teams connected to universities and colleges, research and teaching hospitals, and other academic institutions engaged in bioresearch are eligible to enter.

Teams may be fledgling enterprises seeking seed capital or those further along in the commercialization process, including firms that have received grants, venture capital or equity investments. There is no restriction on the number of team members, but teams are encouraged to include participants with business backgrounds or MBA students. Purdue has developed a list of MBA students that teams may contact for help in developing their plans.

"There is a definite educational component to this competition," said Don Blewett, associate director of the center for entrepreneurship. "We want to bring together researchers and MBA students, both at Krannert and other schools, with judges who will be venture capitalists, senior corporate executives and business people. We expect to attract a group of contestants and attendees that will generate innovational sparks."

Eight finalists will be chosen from the written business plan phase of the competition. Those teams will make 45-minute presentations to a panel of judges. First prize in the competition is $50,000; second prize is $20,000; third prize is $15,000; fourth prize is $7,500; fifth prize is $5,000; sixth prize is $2,500. A total of $24,000 of in-kind legal and financial services is available to the top three finishers.

The best team with a clear Indiana connection will receive $20,000, in addition to any other prize it wins. Presentations, judging and awards presentations will take place on April 23. The winning Indiana team will receive its award at the 2003 Indiana Health Industry Conference and Innovation Showcase on June 5.

On April 22, competitors will have the opportunity to display their technologies and marketing materials.

"The winner of the competition will be chosen on the basis of solid commercial viability," Blewett said. "We also want to make this a networking opportunity as well as a business plan competition. The other half of real-world success is talking and listening to both technical and business people."

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship brings together existing entrepreneurial efforts on campus, including technology transfer activities and other entrepreneurial competitions, speakers and events. The center also serves as a resource for Purdue researchers to help commercialize their discoveries and as the intellectual center of education on, and discussion of, entrepreneurial philosophy and issues.

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is one four major centers planned for the $100 million Discovery Park complex, which includes the Birck Nanotechnology Center, the Bindley Bioscience Research Center and an e-enterprises center. Roche Diagnostics is the first corporate partner of Discovery Park.

Inquiries about the competition should be directed to Blewett at (765) 494-4485 or The competition Web site is available at

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Sources: Richard A. Cosier, (765) 494-4366,

Don Blewett, (765) 494-4485,

Wade Lange, (317) 264-8552,

Anne Shane, (317) 638-2440,

Baker & Daniels source: Daniel L. Boeglin, (317) 569-4644,

Yassir Karam, (317) 574-9100,

Joel Reuter, Roche Diagnostics corporate communication, (317) 521-7431, (800) 539-4808 (c),

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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