updated: 10/21/2004 3:19:06 PM

Purdue Dedicates Center For Entrepreneurship

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, the first building completed in Discovery Park, will be dedicated at 1 p.m. today (Thursday, Oct. 21) during an event taking place in a tent set up adjacent to the center.

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The center, which was finished in June, is a $7 million, 31,000-square-foot, two-story facility at Purdue's Discovery Park, the university's hub for interdisciplinary research located on State Street on the west edge of campus. The center includes a 72-seat lecture room, a presentation room, faculty offices, and several conference and breakout rooms for use by park occupants.

"It's appropriate that the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is the first Discovery Park building to be completed," said Purdue President Martin C. Jischke. "The center will provide a launching pad from which Purdue research and collaborations will pay big economic dividends for Indiana."

The building was funded by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, established by Morgan, a Purdue alumnus from Hudson, Ohio, who died in 2003. John V. Frank, president of the Morgan Foundation, said: "Purdue's concept of combining higher education with entrepreneurship is very exciting. We believe this grant is an excellent use of the foundation's resources."

Morgan received his Purdue degree in mechanical engineering in 1938. In 1992 the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in management.

Known for his entrepreneurism, Morgan 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 began sponsorship of the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition at Purdue in 1987 to help Purdue students develop an appreciation of the free market system and the role of the entrepreneur in a market economy. He also established an endowment for the Krannert School, now valued at more than $4.1 million.

Krannert School Dean Richard A. Cosier, who directs the center for entrepreneurship, said activities at the center are already well begun.

"Even before we had this great new facility, the entrepreneurship center had sponsored several business plan competitions and awarded more than $500,000 to startup companies in the last two years," Cosier said. "We'll be announcing several new initiatives over the next 12 months."

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is home to:

* The Technology Transfer Initiative, which assists faculty who research issues industry encounters when trying to license and market new technologies and products. As part of the initiative, the Innovation Realization Lab pairs engineering and management graduate students on projects to help them understand the way research fits in with social and commercial needs. It also will help faculty design courses to teach entrepreneurship.

* The Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition, in which students from over the entire campus work together to demonstrate their business plans for new products or services and show how they could be developed into profitable businesses. Teams compete for $100,000 in prize money each year.

* A portion of the Purdue Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program, in which undergraduates work with community service agencies to find ways to use technology to solve problems and improve services.

* The New Ventures Laboratory, which allows entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to visit campus and conduct workshops. The lab also provides students with the opportunity to administer a venture fund investing in new technologies and also will bring to campus entrepreneurs-in-residence and sponsor speakers and seminars.

* The Opportunity for Indiana Business Plan Competition's three venues, which offer a minimum prize purse of $50,000 - $25,000 for first place, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third. The Lilly Endowment is sponsoring the competitions for three years, beginning this fall in West Lafayette, Hammond and Fort Wayne. Local sponsorships may increase the prize amounts and add professional services for the winners.

* The Purdue Life Sciences Business Plan Competition, now in its third year, offers almost $150,000 in prize money. The competition, which is primarily sponsored by Roche Diagnostics, has attracted contestants nationally and offered special prizes for the top Indiana-based startup companies.

Located southwest of State Street and Intramural Drive in West Lafayette, Discovery Park includes the e-Enterprise Center; the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship; Bindley Bioscience Center and the Birck Nanotechnology Center, which are under construction; and Discovery Learning Center. The new Biomedical Engineering Building also will be located in Discovery Park.

The entrepreneurship center dedication is part of a 10-day celebration that focuses on ways Purdue is improving education and helping the state of Indiana as part of its strategic plan and $1.3 billion fund-raising campaign.

Source: Purdue University

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