WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -– Nominations are being accepted through April 1 for Indiana high school sophomores and juniors to attend a nationally recognized summer academy and compete for the opportunity to win up to $1,000 in college tuition vouchers to attend Purdue University.High school teachers and administrators can nominate current Indiana high school sophomores and juniors to attend the fifth annual Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy, held June 19-24 at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. The academy is led by Purdue Research Foundation staff with assistance from industry leaders and successful high-tech business entrepreneurs.
Students accepted into the program will work in teams on a fundamental business case to determine the best way for the business to compete, identify capital needs to start a business and devise a plan for managing it. On the final day of the academy, teams give a 15-minute “investor pitch” to a panel of judges in a business plan competition setting. Fifty students were accepted into the 2010 academy out of 90 applicants.
Members of the three teams with the highest scores will receive college vouchers, ranging from $100 to $500, to pursue a degree at Purdue. All students who complete the program will receive credits toward the university’s Entrepreneurship Certificate program. One student is recognized by peers at the end of the program with the David E. Ross Award for Entrepreneurial Distinction, which carries with it a $500 tuition voucher.
In 2010 the Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy was named Incubator Innovation Award winner by the National Business Incubator Association.
Sponsors of the 2011 academy include Accent on Business, Barnes & Thornburg, CSO Architects, DeFouw Chevrolet-BMW, Greater Lafayette Commerce, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Olsten Staffing, Purdue Federal Credit Union, Purdue Research Park, and Stuart & Branigin. Timothy Peoples, director of the Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy, said additional sponsors are being sought.