sealPurdue News

April 1998

Helping others pays off for student entrepreneur

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- "Run, don't walk, to the patent office" and "go national tomorrow" was the advice from the judges to the winner of the 1998 Burton Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition at Purdue University.

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They were talking about a school locker for disabled students that was the big winner at the 11th annual competition. Eleven teams presented business and marketing plans along with product prototypes to a panel of judges during the final round of competition Feb. 28.

Kirby Goedde, a senior in electrical engineering from Evansville, Ind. , won the top prize of $4,000 for his business plan, "The Automated Locker." Goedde developed the locker to help a disabled Lafayette student who had difficulty opening a school locker. The device uses a key-chain-sized transmitter and a special locking mechanism to unlock a locker from as much as 50 feet away.

Goedde, who installed the automated locker in Tecumseh Middle School in Lafayette almost a year ago, has an order from the Lafayette School Corp. for 30 more. "I'm definitely going to move quickly to get my business going now," he said. "This whole project started with an idea to help someone. It wasn't until I started working on the business plan for the competition that I realized I might have the makings of a real business."

Second prize of $2,000 was awarded to "CallControl," a caller identification device for a computer modem. Two Bulgarian graduate students -- Bozhidar Dimitrov from Bourgass, who is studying computer science, and Neven Valev from Sofia, enrolled in the Krannert Graduate School of Management -- developed software that intercepts incoming telephone calls and displays the caller identification while the computer operator is on the Internet. The software gives the computer user the option of disconnecting from the Internet and taking the call, or disregarding the call. They plan to market their device through their newly formed company, Advanced Technological Solutions.

Russell Flugel, a second-year master's student in the Krannert Graduate School of Management from Enfield, Conn ., captured the third prize of $1,000 for his "Military Information Systems Co." business plan. Flugel, a military veteran, has designed a software program that maps hazard zones resulting from a chemical or biological attack.

Receiving the fourth-place award of $500 was "HKN Communications." Three graduate students from India -- Namrata Mundhra from Bombay, a Krannert student, Hasnain Lakdawala from Bombay, who is studying electrical engineering, and Dhiraj Kacker from Barda, an electrical engineering student -- created the "Telemeter." The device, which attaches to a telephone, will provide consumers with a running tab of their long-distance telephone calls.

The fifth-place award of $250 went to Chun Ling Jimmy Choi, for "Willie's Eclectic Cafe." A senior in economics from Bolingbrook , Ill., Choi and his brothers plan to open an international restaurant that serves "fusion cuisine," which blends ingredients and cooking techniques from different cultures. A computer database will help Choi track the dining preferences of his regular customers.

The last six business plans in the competition won awards of $100 each. They were:

  • "Brush Mate Disinfectant," a toothbrush cleanser, submitted by Greg Glaub, a junior in retail management from Batesville, Ind. ; Joshua Ackerson, a junior in mechanical engineering from Arlington, Va. ; and Rick Starck, a sophomore in electrical engineering from Arlington, Va.

  • "Athlete's Review," a newsletter for high school athletes, submitted by Tyrelle Collins, a sophomore in communications from Indianapolis .

  • "ZLive Backpack," with special features for advanced hikers, submitted by Dave Ong, a junior in civil engineering from Singapore.

  • "Virtual Caddie," an electronic golf scorecard, submitted by Anthony Selhal, a chemical engineering senior from Hot Springs Village, Ark.

  • "Sea Savers," a plan to raise sea horses for medicinal use, submitted by Roy Fulayter, a master's student in mechanical engineering from Virginia Beach, Va .

  • "Multi-Functional Copyholders," strong enough to hold books, submitted by Lily Xia, a graduate student in communications from China, and Robert Bunnell, an aeronautical/astronautical engineering graduate student from Noblesville, Ind.

Dennis J. Weidenaar, dean of the School of Management and the Krannert Graduate School of Management, and contest creator and Krannert alumnus Burton D. Morgan presented the awards.

"The Morgan competition, which is open to all Purdue students from freshman to Ph.D. students, provides a realistic environment in which students are motivated to implement their creative ideas," Weidenaar said. "It is a memorable experience for all those who participate."

Judges for the competition were Steven Beck, senior vice president, Peoples Bank & Trust, Indianapolis; Herb Wilson, chief executive officer, Micro-Surface Finishing Products, Wilton, Iowa; and Paul D. Jacobson, entrepreneur, Las Cruces, N.M.

The competition was started by Morgan in 1987 to help students develop an appreciation of the free-market system and the role of the entrepreneur in a market economy.

Coordinator of the competition is Shailendra Raj Mehta, director, Krannert Entrepreneurship Initiative. For more information about the competition, go to the entrepreneurship Web site at

Sources: Tamyra Gibson, Director of Public Relation,
Krannert Graduate School of Management, (765) 494-4392
Shailendra Raj Mehta (765) 494-5703; e-mail,
Writer: Kate Walker (765) 494-2073; e-mail
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

Kirby Goedde's automated locker device for disabled students is designed to fit any school locker manufactured in the United States. A key-chain-sized transmitter can unlock the special locking mechanism from as much as 50 feet away. Goedde, a Purdue senior majoring in electrical engineering, won the university's 11th annual Burton Morgan entrepreneurial competition .
Color photo, electronic transmission, and Web and ftp download available. Photo ID: Mehta.Morganwinner
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