If you are interested in Entrepreneurship, Purdue is a great place to be. As a leading academic and research institution, technologies invented at Purdue have improved lives around the world. Whether you want to take classes on entrepreneurship, participate in business plan competitions, network with entrepreneurs, or start your own company, there are myriad opportunities on campus and within the Lafayette/West Lafayette communities. Here are a few examples:
Discovery Park is a research and learning complex consisting of eight core centers, including the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship (see below). Discovery Park was founded in 2001 and has attracted more than $550M in sponsored research opportunities for Purdue since its inception. Within Discovery Park, you will find over 100,000 square feet of laboratory space, and 90,000 of office space. Over 4,000 students and faculty members are utilizing Discovery Park’s interdisciplinary approach to solve our society’s greatest challenges. Projects range from curing cancer to discovering new technologies to improve Indiana’s manufacturing economy.
The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship research center located in the heart of Purdue’s campus (1201 W. State Street, West Lafayette). The center sponsors several programs, including a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a Technology Realization Program and the Entrepreneurship Leadership Academy. In addition, the center also sponsors an annual Business Plan Competition and elevator pitch competition. The Burton D. Morgan Center is lead by Dr. Richard Cosier, who previously served as Dean of the Krannert School of Management.
Innovation and Commercialization Center
The Innovation and Commercialization Center provides Purdue faculty, student and staff entrepreneurs with resources including mentoring, prototype development and market testing. In some instances, the ICC may be able to assist entrepreneurs with startup capital donated by alumni entrepreneurs. The ICC is run by Dr. Gerry McCartney, Chief Information Officer for Purdue University.
Purdue Research Park
Purdue Research Park is a great place to start or grow your high-tech company. The West Lafayette Center is home to the largest cluster of technology companies in the state. Residents of the park have access to Purdue University resources, as well as low/no cost professional services, child care services and a fitness center.
Office of Technology Commercialization
Located in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Office of Technology Commercialization helps entrepreneurs understand their options with regards to patenting and licensing their innovations. In some cases, OTC works with entrepreneurs to form startup companies and may help identify investors and members of the organization’s leadership team. In 2010, the OTC reported 257 invention disclosures, issued 52 U.S. patients and helped create 11 startup companies.
The Docking Station
The Docking Station provides low-cost, on-campus incubation space for Purdue entrepreneurs. The docking station is open 24/7 and offers meeting space, work space and Wi-Fi. It is designed to foster the sharing of ideas among entrepreneurial minded students, faculty and staff.
Business Technology and Entrepreneurship Club
The Business Technology and Entrepreneurship Club exists to foster passion for technology and entrepreneurship amongst students and faculty within the Krannert community. The club was started by Purdue MBA students, but many of its events are open to the public. The organization hosts networking sessions with technology companies, participates in entrepreneurship competitions (including the Burton D. Morgan Business Plan competition) and participated in the first Startup Weekend in Lafayette.
The Greater Lafayette community is a safe, convenient and vibrant place to study, or to launch a business. Both the Cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette have a variety of resources for entrepreneurs, including:
LafayetteTech is an independent, non-profit entrepreneurship hub and technology incubator. The organization sponsors tech workshops, provides mentorship to entrepreneurs and facilitates introductions between startups and angel investors. Lafayette Tech works start-ups to move idea business concepts (DreamAGENT below) to a reality of established companies.
The Entrepreneur’s Club is sponsored by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. The organization meets on the third Thursday of each month at 8:30am in the Lafayette Chamber office. Attendees may hear from guest speakers and/or may have the opportunity to brainstorm and share tips with fellow entrepreneurs. There is no cost to attend, and attendees are not required to be members of the Chamber.
Verge is a meetup group for entrepreneurs in the Greater Lafayette community. Entrepreneurs and investors are encouraged to participate in monthly meetings. There is no cost to attend.