October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

Purdue business competition awards $115,000 to 12 winning student startups 

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

The Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition awarded 12 student startups funding totaling $115,000. Purdue University’s Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the final presentations in late February.

The top three winners received a total of $55,000 in funding. First-place winners included Spiro Therapeutics, awarded $25,000; MediTrack awarded $15,000 and Incas Diagnostics awarded $15,000.

The Burton D. Morgan Business Model Competition encourages student entrepreneurship through five months of business model workshops. The competition hosted four workshops, such as Business Model Canvas and Customer Discovery, led by Matthew Lynall from Krannert School of Management.

This year, the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and Honors College sponsored the competition. All finalists who presented in late February will receive a one-hour complimentary consultation with HealthCPA and a one-year membership to their choice of co-working space in the Purdue Railyardthe Anvil or the MatchBOXCoworking Studio.

The teams participated in three separate business model paths: the open track for startups large potential markets, the small business track for startups with a methodical growth plan and the social innovation track for startups addressing socioeconomic challenges.

Open Track Awarded Recipients

Kyle Kim, a recent Ph.D. graduate, and Davis Arick, a senior, both from Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, founded Spiro Therapeutics and won the $25,000 first place prize by unanimous vote, for the first time in recent history. This startup provides a therapeutic treatment restoring lung function to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) patients.

“Winning the competition validates our progress, and really gives us confidence that are moving forward with a sound business model,” Arick said. “Personally, I’ve dreamt of winning this competition since high school, and I’m excited to move forward with the journey ahead of us. The competition connected us with incredible individuals who have become invaluable resources to Spiro Therapeutics’ ongoing development.”

Spiro Therapeutics will invest their prize money in product development and optimization. Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management gave Spiro Therapeutics a free application to their 2018 Applied Management Principles Condensed Management Program, valued at $5,495. The school’s Executive Education Programs offer the certification program.

Each finalist in the Open Track category will also receive free legal services valued at $11,000 from Ice Miller. Additional award recipients in the Open Track category include

  • Second place with $15,000 cash prize—Leo Aerospace developing a launch system with hybrid rocket-balloon technology that sends small satellites to suborbital and low earth orbit locations.
  • Third place with $5,000 cash prize—Willeder improving professional hiring processes through a technologic platform.
  • Fourth place with $2,500—HydraMatic offering a center pivot irrigation system for small farmers.

Small Business Track Award Recipients

Humphrey Kanyoke, an MBA student in Krannert School of Management, founded MediTrack, based on a Purdue patent, develops non-invasive, multi-parameter devices allowing EMTs to collect and monitor vital signs with ease.

“On a personal level, my interest in vital signs monitoring stems from working on many projects in the past where women developed preeclampsia and eclampsia due to improper blood pressure monitoring and tracking,” Kanyoke said. “Monitoring vital signs can truly improve patient outcomes which is extremely important to me.”

With the funding received for its first place cash prize in the Small Business Track category, the startup will build a prototype and perform more market research.

Each Small Business Track finalist will also receive free startup packages valued at $5,000 from Law. Additional award recipients in the Small Business Track category include:

  • Second place with $10,000—MediSprout MicroFarms providing frozen broccoli sprouts as a new super food alternative.
  • Third place with $5,000—Petal Solutions developing a flow pressure and velocity measurement device to monitor aircraft and rocket engines.
  • Fourth place with $2,500—Plan4Me planning special dates for singles, couples and families according to the preferences expressed on the web platform.

Social Entrepreneurship Track Awarded Recipients

Incas Diagnostics received the first place award in the Social Entrepreneurship Track category. Laud Anthony Basing, a graduate research assistant in Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, founded the startup. This startup provides a diagnostic kit detecting multiple sexually transmitted diseases.

“Incas Diagnostics’ solution offers a urine-based test kit that can be used at home with results in ten minutes at a cost of $6,” Basing said. “We want to invest the prize money in procuring equipment to manufacture the kit at high demand.”

Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management gave Incas Diagnostics a free application to their 2018 Technical Management Institute, valued at $2,295.

All social entrepreneurship finalists will receive priority access to the Clinic. Additional award recipients in the Social Entrepreneurship Track category include:

  • Second place with $10,000—HaptImage developing an image accessing system for users with visual impairments to better explore images through a portable controller and software.
  • Third place with $5,000—Predictive Wear utilizing wearable technology and remote sensing to reduce Venous Insufficiency burden.
  • Fourth place with $2,500—Love Without Violence creating a multi-platform application promoting domestic violence programs across the U.S.

Two additional startups received awards. BeauArt, a startup idea founded by Daniel Conrad won the No-Go Award for participants who chose through the competition to not yet launch their venture yet. Ger won the Diversity Award for startups with the highest points and the most diverse team, considering gender, ethnicity and department.


Source: Purdue business competition awards $115,000 to 12 winning student startups – Purdue University

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