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Deadlines extended for inaugural Indiana Companies to Watch program

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The deadline to nominate growth-oriented companies from across the state for the inaugural Indiana Companies to Watch awards program is being extended. The new deadline for nominating Indiana second-stage companies is April 25. Nominees and those applying directly must complete an application by May 9. The first class of winners will be announced and recognized Aug. 28 during a ceremony at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.

Purdue University is collaborating with the Indiana governor’s office, Indiana Economic Development Corp. and its Small Business Development Center Network, KeyBank, and the Edward Lowe Foundation for the 2008 program.

Candiss Vibbert

Candiss Vibbert

“While the response has been strong, we also wanted to give those around the state more time to be a part of this inaugural program,” said Candiss Vibbert, associate vice provost for engagement at Purdue and associate director for engagement in Discovery Park.

To be eligible, companies must be based in Indiana, privately held, advanced beyond the start-up phase, employ six to 150 full-time employees including the owner, and have $750,000 to $100 million in annual revenue or working capital in place from investors or grants.

To nominate a company or to get more information on the program, go to Those nominated by the April 25 deadline will receive an e-mail with instructions to complete an online application by May 9. Nominations can come from an outside source or companies can apply directly.

The Edward Lowe Foundation, based in Cassopolis, Mich., conducts educational programs and provides information and recognition for second-stage entrepreneurs. The foundation hosts similar programs in Michigan and Arizona.

“The awards are designed to help communities tell a new story about economic growth,” said Penny Lewandowski, the foundation’s director of entrepreneurship.

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges picked by the Indiana Economic Development Corp., Purdue and the Edward Lowe Foundation.

The Purdue team supporting the program includes representatives from the Purdue Center for Regional Development and the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park, the College of Agriculture, Krannert School of Management, Purdue Alumni Association, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and Purdue Research Park.

The Indiana Small Business Development Center offers free and low-cost information, management counseling and educational services to support the state’s small-business owners and potential entrepreneurs, boosting economic development and creating jobs within the state.

The late Edward Lowe, the inventor of Kitty Litter, and his wife Darlene established the Edward Lowe Foundation in 1985. They envisioned an organization that would leverage entrepreneurship as a strategy for economic growth and community development.

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