sealPurdue News

December 19, 2002

Purdue, Roche seek entrants in $100,000 life sciences business plan competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – An entrepreneurial competition at Purdue University will award total prizes of $100,000 for business plans that describe the path to market for products and technologies in the life sciences, biotechnology and biomedicine.

The inaugural Purdue University Life Sciences Business Plan Competition, sponsored by the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and Roche Diagnostics, will take place April 22-24 in the Stewart Center's Fowler Hall on Purdue's West Lafayette campus. Teams are encouraged to submit an entry form and executive summary by Feb. 10 and must submit their full business plans by March 8.

"We're interested in attracting entrants who are working at the intersection of bioscience and technology," said Richard A. Cosier, director of the center for entrepreneurship and dean of the Krannert School of Management. "The challenge – and opportunity – for the teams is to think through, write and present a plan to bring their research to market."

Martin Madaus, president and CEO for Roche Diagnostics, North America, said, "Roche Diagnostics is pleased to join forces with Purdue University in advancing the academic awareness and attention to the life sciences and bioresearch.

"It is our hope that this business plan competition will inspire creative thinking, passion and innovation, and provide an avenue for recognition or business consideration. As we evolve life sciences initiatives in our state, public-private collaborative efforts are a critical component to our future growth because they unleash the potential for remarkable and positive changes in our world."

Teams based at 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. Presentations, judging and awards presentations will take place on April 23.

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 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 Purdue's Discovery Park.

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

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

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

Don Blewett, (765) 494-4485,

Joel Reuter, Roche Diaganostics corporate communication, (317) 521-7431, (800) 539-4808 (p),

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Related Web sites:
Purdue University Life Sciences Business Plan Competition entry forms, rules, schedules and resources

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