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Registration under way for $100,000 life sciences business plan competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Registration is under way for Purdue University’s seventh Life Sciences Business Plan Competition, a Nov. 10 event with $100,000 in prizes for the nation’s most promising startup life-science businesses.

Purdue University Life Sciences Business Plan Competition

This competition targets US-based start-up business entities in the life sciences arena. The business entity must be no more than three years old and have an employment of less than 10 full-time employees (or less than an equivalent of 10 full time employees).

Submissions will be accepted through July 7 and must include executive summaries. Semifinalists will be announced on Aug. 4, and business plans from those entries are due Sept. 15. Finalists will be announced on Oct. 13 for participants who will present during the Nov. 10 competition at the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Purdue’s Discovery Park.

“The Purdue Life Sciences Business Plan Competition aims to foster translational research and accelerate the commercialization of intellectual property in the life sciences arena,” said Richard Cosier, the Avrum and Joyce Gray Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. “In doing so, the competition exemplifies Purdue’s spirit of ‘discovery to delivery’ by generating entrepreneurship opportunities and driving economic development of life sciences research.”

First prize is $50,000, second prize is $25,000, the third-place finisher receives $12,500, fourth-place prize money is $5,000, and other finalists receive $2,500 each. Funding is provided by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Purdue Alfred Mann Institute and CHV Capital Inc.

Winning companies must provide documentation that they have clear access to intellectual property, a stipulation designed to ensure the competition is recognizing existing companies and not just exciting ideas, said Candiss Vibbert, associate director of engagement for Discovery Park.

The event offers ample opportunities for networking among teams, judges, experts and attendees. Feedback sessions are available between the finalist teams and judges. Vibbert said finalists from previous Purdue competitions also say they benefited from the experience of writing an effective executive summary and business plan for their company.

“By participating in this Purdue event, they were able to develop an effective presentation about their companies,” she said. “That’s what is so special about this event – it combines the elements of learning and economic development, which is at the heart of our mission at Purdue.”

Contact Jackie Lanter of the Burton D. Morgan Center at 765-494-1335,, or go online to for more information about the 2011 competition.

At the sixth Purdue Life Sciences Business Plan Competition in November 2009, Massachusetts medical-therapy company Novophage Therapeutics captured the $30,000 top prize. FAST Diagnostics, an Indianapolis-based company commercializing a kidney diagnostic test, took top honors and $50,000 in cash and services in the 2008 event.

In addition to leading the university’s large-scale interdisciplinary entrepreneurship programs, the Burton D. Morgan Center manages Purdue’s Kauffman Campuses Initiative, which is focused on making entrepreneurship education available across the university’s main and regional campuses, enabling any student, regardless of field of study, access to entrepreneurial training.

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