Adranos, HemoTherm claim top spots at 29th annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition

Published: March 2, 2016


Biz McGuire

Shane McGuire, an MBA graduate from Purdue, outlines plans for Adranos Energetics LLC during the winning presentation for the Gold Division on Tuesday (Feb. 23) during the 29th annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition in Purdue's Discovery Park. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A student-led business developing a more powerful and environmentally friendly solid rocket propellant and a team designing a device to treat hypothermia were the big winners Tuesday (Feb. 23) at Purdue University's $100,000 Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition.

Adranos Energetics LLC claimed the $30,000 top prize in the Gold Division for its business plan to develop rocket fuel for aviation and aerospace industries that could minimize HCl aerosol formation and increase total propulsion.

The Adranos team is led by MBA graduate Shane McGuire; Brandon Terry, a Purdue doctoral graduate in aeronautical and astronautical engineering; Luciano Mozzone, an undergraduate in aeronautical and astronautical engineering; and Lafayette attorney Chris Stoker.

HemoTherm, led by biomedical engineering seniors Tori Clift and Stephanie Eichman and Sahil Sanghani, a senior in electrical and computer engineering, won the $20,000 top prize in the Black Division among the five undergraduate teams. The students are developing a device to monitor real-time blood oxygenation levels for hemodynamically stable and unstable patients aimed at controlling core body temperatures in patients.

Biz Clift

Purdue biomedical engineering senior Tori Clift and Sahil Sanghani, a senior in electrical and computer engineering, answer questions from judges about their business-plan presentation for HemoTherm, which is designing a device to monitor real-time blood oxygenation levels for hemodynamically stable and unstable patients aimed at controlling core body temperatures in patients. HemoTherm on Tuesday (Feb. 23) claimed the $20,000 top prize in the Black Division at the 29th annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) 
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"It was another exciting event, with amazing presentations from all 10 finalists, making it very difficult for our diverse panel of 13 judges," said Joseph Pekny, outgoing interim director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, which organizes the annual event.

"A mission of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is to see our students succeed, and all participants this year are winners - they all will take some money home. They can take with them all that they learned from this competitive process, and society wins when these ideas become viable businesses."

Placing second in the Gold Division and receiving $15,000 was MarginPAT, which is developing an intraoperative imaging tool that provides contrast of tumor and non-tumor tissue.

The team behind RoboDesk, a robotic motorized desk that's customized to attach to power wheelchairs, recliners and hospital beds for users with disabilities, received $7,500 for third place. RoboDesk is a technology of the startup Prehensile Technologies LLC.

Finalists receiving $3,750 each were SensorHound and Aerial Agriculture in the Gold Division, which was open to all graduate and undergraduate student teams from any discipline.

In the Black Division, Froyo Xpress received $10,000 for its second-place finish. The concept combines the experience of frozen yogurt with the convenience of a traditional vending machine, reaching locations inaccessible to traditional retailers and allowing consumers to personalize their treat with syrups and toppings straight out of the machine.

Students leading The Sweet Corn Truck placed third, receiving $5,000 for their plan to deliver premium-quality sweet corn in times when it normally would not be accessible.

Biz Eichman

Purdue biomedical engineering senior Stephanie Eichman discusses her team's plans for its HemoTherm, which is designing a device to monitor real-time blood oxygenation levels for hemodynamically stable and unstable patients. It is aimed at controlling core body temperatures in patients. HemoTherm claimed the $20,000 top prize in the Black Division at the 29th annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) 
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Black Division finalists receiving $2,500 each were Click, which offers a home security system that relies on infrared-based proximity sensors to detect movement and intelligently control lighting; and Grabbyt, a mobile application that allows users to purchase meal plans from restaurants.

Greg Deason, senior vice president and director of innovation and commercialization for the Burton D. Morgan Center, noted that seven of the 10 competition finalists worked with the Purdue Foundry to refine their plans, benefiting from Purdue's integrated approach to support entrepreneurs and move campus innovations to the marketplace.

"Purdue is starting to be known as the 'Startup University,' " Deason said. "And this year's Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition was a testament to how the capabilities of our students, faculty and staff - combined with our thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem - is helping Purdue make an economic impact on our world."

The Purdue Research Park will provide incubator space in the Purdue Technology Center to Gold Division winner Adranos. Ice Miller LLP will provide free legal and consulting services to Adranos, MarginPAT and RoboDesk, valued at $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.

The Krannert School of Management is donating a free registration to Adranos in the 2015 Applied Management Principles condensed management certificate program offered by Krannert's Executive Education Programs, representing a value of $4,995.

The Anvil will provide a one-year membership to its co-working space to Adranos, MarginPAT and RoboDesk, valued at $2,100 to each company.

For Black Division winner HemoTherm, Krannert will provide a free registration in its 2015 AMP program, also valued at $4,995. 

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, chief scientist and executive director of Discovery Park, was the keynote speaker during the awards ceremony, which followed the daylong competition at the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

The annual Purdue entrepreneurship competition started in 1987 with an endowment gift from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, which also funded the $7 million, 31,000-square-foot Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park.

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, through its sponsored initiatives and partnerships - including the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Technology Realization Program, Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy and business plan competitions - aims to stimulate entrepreneurship at Purdue and serves as a state, regional and national resource.

The building also serves as home to the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub that provides assistance in areas such as product ideation and market analysis as well as business-plan development, alumni and faculty mentoring, and help in finding funding.

Writers: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources: Joseph Pekny, pekny@purdue.edu

Greg Deason, 765-588-3363, gwdeason@prf.org

Shane McGuire, 801-836-4928, smcguire@adranosenergetics.com

Tori Clift, cliftt@purdue.edu