Burton D. Morgan Competition Judges Rick Li, Diana Hancock and Norm Hedges listen intently to pitches in the Social
Entrepreneurship track during the Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition. (Purdue Research
Foundation photo by Nick Wang)

Evolving Entrepreneurship

New generation of innovators continue Purdue’s startup tradition

Entrepreneurship at Purdue and the Krannert School of Management has come a long way since 1987, when an endowment from alumnus Burton D. Morgan established the business model competition that still bears his name.

Among the top finishers that first year were a restaurant named “Hoss’ Burrito Barn” and a babysitting service in the Tippecanoe Mall in Lafayette, whose teams shared $5,000 in prize money.

More recently, eight Purdue University student startups earned a total of $83,500 in cash prizes and another $30,000 in in-kind donations during the 32nd annual Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition in February.

In total, the competition has awarded $1.9 million in total cash prizes since its inception. More importantly, it’s been a driving force in the development of an innovation ecosystem at Purdue anchored by the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

Dedicated in 2004, the Morgan Center is now home to numerous programs and competitions for students and faculty designed to encourage the discovery and commercialization of big ideas with the potential to benefit society.

Working closely with the Purdue Research Foundation, Purdue Foundry, Purdue Ventures and the Krannert School to provide meaningful access to capital and talent for Boilermaker entrepreneurs, the Morgan Center serves as the primary vehicle for delivering entrepreneurship education to more than 1,800 students across campus each year through the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

Purdue’s growing entrepreneurial network has overseen the creation of more than 200 startups since 2013 alone, bringing in more than $340 million in investments and funding for startups and creating more than 200 new jobs. The Milken Institute currently ranks Purdue #1 in technology transfer and startup creation among U.S. universities without a medical school.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) rewarded that success in 2015 by granting Purdue status as an Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Site to help researchers understand the potential value of their technology and inventions. In addition to directing the University’s I-Corps program, Krannert’s Matthew Lynall is co-PI of the Midwest I-Corps Node, which Purdue joined in 2017 in partnership with the University of Michigan and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The cohort supports commercialization research, education and infrastructure across the region.

Today, as Purdue continues its yearlong Giant Leaps celebration as part of the University’s 150th anniversary, we take a closer look at this entrepreneurial evolution by highlighting the Krannert School’s ongoing commitment to the business of innovation and the success of two recent startups.

Next: Signs of Success

1 | 2 | 3 |