Rushville Republican

Business

March 28, 2014

Student business competition announces finalists, Demo Day presentations

WEST LAFAYETTE - Three Purdue University student-based startups have advanced to the final round of the Boiler Mini-Accelerator Competition or “Boiler,” where they will compete for nearly $10,000 in funding.

The Boiler, a student-run business competition, is geared for aspiring entrepreneurs who seek funds to support their startup idea and the opportunity to receive professional advice and business development strategies from entrepreneurial experts and from the Purdue Foundry, a startup resource center in Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

“The energy surrounding this competition is fantastic,” Mike Asem, organizer of the competition and co-founder of the Anvil, a student-run business incubator, said. “We started out with nearly 40 student entrepreneur applicants and had the very difficult task of choosing the finalists because of the overall outstanding quality of the submissions.”

The competition culminates on Demo Day, set for April 25, in the Burton D. Morgan Center, where the three finalists will present their startups to investors, members of the startup community and a panel of judges.

“The Boiler competition is unique because it runs over an eight-week timeframe, and that is important because it gives the student finalists several weeks of invaluable advice and mentoring from experts,” Asem said. “Throughout the competition, participating students have access to the Launchbox program and various workshops to help them further advance their startup ideas.

“Another important unique aspect of our competition is the fact that our major focus is on helping the teams get actual traction and customer engagement with their businesses, rather than writing a business plan.”

The Launchbox is a Purdue Foundry program to help entrepreneurs develop startups.

Winners of the Boiler will receive $5,000, $3,000 and $1,500 for first, second and third places, respectively, with free and discounted professional services offered to teams that place first and second. These funding awards are in addition to $1,500 each of the teams received as finalists to use as seed money and further develop their startups. Funds received through the competition are awarded on a no-equity basis.

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