WEST LAFAYETTE - The preliminary stage of the 31st Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition at Purdue University will begin Wednesday in West Lafayette. The student competition features prizes of up to $100,000. The school says half of the finalists have started their own businesses.

The competition will be held at the Honors College Great Hall at the Honors College and Residences on-campus. Managing Director Arnold Chen says "for 30 years, this competition has been putting our innovators on the fast track to the successful commercialization of technology and the development of a successful business. This year, we cover another vital step in that process: developing and refining a business model."

The three categories involved in this year's competition are: open/big idea, for concepts with large market, monetary and geographic footprints; social innovation, for concepts that address socioeconomic needs and challenges; and small business, for concepts that touch smaller geographic regions.

Finals are scheduled for February 22 and 23. You can connect to more on the competition by clicking here.