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February 20, 2004

Nanoscale technology startup takes $50,000 business plan top prize

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – OrganoDevice Technology, a startup company that plans to use nanaoscale technology to build low-cost, high-performance light-emiting diodes, won the $50,000 first prize Thursday (2/19) in Purdue University's 17th annual Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurship Competition.

Jean Guan gives winning presentation
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Jean Guan, a Purdue Krannert School of Management MBA student, made the winning presentation to a panel of eight venture capitalist judges.

Guan, who had to rush to an exam after the awards ceremony, said, "I've been able to take what I learned in finance, marketing and strategy and apply it in a real business world situation."

OrganoDevice Technology plans to use University of Illinois nanoscale technology to build the light-emitting diodes for use in television flat display panel screens and the new radio-frequency identification tags that are slated to replace bar coding.

Six finalist teams made 15-minute presentations and then fielded 20 minutes of questions from judges. Teams could include undergraduates from any major, graduate students and professors, community members and students from other schools, but Purdue students had to make the final presentations.

Second place and $20,000 went to BioQ, a team of made up of Purdue undergraduate mechanical engineering students with a plan to commercialize a search engine to aid in pharmaceutical drug discovery using a three-dimensional query tool.

Other top awards, all going to Purdue-based teams, were: third prize, $10,000 to CELLTRACK, which uses a cell phone and a global positioning unit to monitor court-ordered home detention and curfew; fourth prize, $7,000 to Optical Therapeutic Technologies, which uses folic acid and dyes to allow surgeons to see and identify certain active cancer cells; fifth prize, $5,000 to Automatic Caption Technology, which employs digital technology to produce more accurate television captioning for the hearing impaired and deliver it more quickly than is currently possible; sixth place and $3,000 to Chipotle Networks, with technology to test computer networks and guard against hacker attacks and other network incidents.

OrganoDevice Technology also won free office space for one year at the Purdue Research Park. The second- and third-place finishers receive reduced rent office space at the park.

Four other teams won a total of $5,000 for their five-minute "fast pitches" to the judges.

The competition is sponsored by Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Krannert School Dean Richard A. Cosier, who directs the center, said the competition was intense.

"Every year I think, 'This was great. How are we going to top that?'" Cosier said. "But this year was absolutely terrific. All the presentations were very well done, the business plans were well thought out, and the products are impressive."

Don Blewett, associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, said a new feature this year was that each of the judges sat down with the teams after the competition to give them individual feedback and advice.

"The student-presenters thought these individual consults were extremely useful," Blewett said. "So not only are we encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit here on campus, we're also adding value to the university's educational mission."

Associate sponsor of the competition was the Indianapolis law firm and business adviser Ice Miller.

The late Burton D. Morgan was a Purdue alumnus who started 50 companies, six of which have become major corporations, including Morgan Adhesives, one of the world's largest makers of pressure-sensitive adhesives. He also was president of Basic Search Co., an idea-development firm, and wrote several books on entrepreneurism.

Morgan established the entrepreneurship competition in 1987 with an endowment gift to Purdue. The Burton D. Morgan Foundation funded the $7 million, 31,000-square-foot Center for Entrepreneurship at Purdue's Discovery Park. The center is scheduled for completion in mid-April.

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

Sources: Jean Guam, (765) 496-2852,

Richard Cosier, (765) 494-4366,

Don Blewett, (765) 494-4485,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: Video b-roll of the winning presentation is available by contacting Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Jean Guan, a Krannert School of Management MBA student at Purdue University, makes the winning presentation Thursday (2/19) in the 17th annual Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition to win the top prize of $50,000 for OganoDevice Technology. OrganoDevice Technology plans to use nanoscale technology to build low-cost, high-performance light-emitting diodes for use in television flat display panel screens and new radio-frequency identification tags that are slated to replace bar coding. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph of the Jean Guan giving the winning presentation for the OrganoDevice Technology team is available at

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