Purdue University, Purdue Research Foundation to host entrepreneurial event in Kokomo

Kokomo-area entrepreneurs are invited to join experts in the entrepreneurship process from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7 during the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp at Inventrek Technology Park, 700 E. Firmin St. Sponsored in part by Purdue University's College of Technology and Purdue Research Foundation's Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), the one-day workshop will cover business planning, sales and marketing, intellectual property, fundraising, and financing. Two panel discussions will focus on the lessons learned by successful entrepreneurs and those who reevaluated their entrepreneurial plans. See the full agenda (PDF). "We're taking the model that has been successfully used on campus for faculty and students and bringing it to Kokomo," said Matt McKillip, executive director of Purdue Tech Ventures. "We also added the panel discussion from entrepreneurs whose ideas didn't pan out. These lessons will be so informative. In fact, some venture capitalists won't even hire a CEO or fund an entrepreneur until they have a failure or two under their belt." Elizabeth Hart-Wells, assistant vice president and director of OTC, said turning ideas into products and services for the public can be a lengthy process. "OTC project managers work with Purdue faculty, staff and students to help them understand the process of protecting intellectual property and commercializing it either by licensing it to an existing company or creating a startup," she said. "Attendees at the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp will understand this process better, which could lead to economic development and job growth throughout Greater Kokomo and the surrounding area." Other event sponsors are the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) and Inventrek Technology Park, which is managed by the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance. Jeb Conrad, president and CEO of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, said the event may benefit a wide range of business owners and entrepreneurs. "New ideas for processes and products benefit every economic sector, not just those considered high-tech," he said. "Our presenters understand this, and their information is tailored to benefit entrepreneurs across all industries, including agriculture, life sciences, manufacturing, engineering, retail, information technology and others." Monty Henderson, business advisor at the Hoosier Heartland Small Business Development Center, said the event is important because entrepreneurism drives the American economy. "Small businesses generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years. These businesses often are started by entrepreneurs who have nothing more than an idea, and need assistance in moving forward," he said. "With new opportunities across multiple industries, the economy becomes even more diversified and strong, which benefits workers and consumers alike." Scheduled presenters at the event include Andy Baker, AndyMark; Ed Brown, Peoplebase; Susan Davis, ISBDC; Steve Gerish, APEX One Equity; Aaron Greer, Outound; John Hanak, Purdue Research Foundation; Jim Harter and Anju Bajaj, Zuna Info Tech; Dave Heilman, Tau Labs/DuPont Photo Masks; Monty Henderson, ISBDC; Lisa Pflueger, Market Vibes; Brent Seaman, FrontLine Logic; Mike Stegall, Community First Bank; and Hilton Turner, Purdue Research Foundation. The day concludes with networking time so participants can interact with funding agencies and venture firms to start the process they learned about throughout the day. For more information or to register by the December 2 deadline, call (765) 457-2000. Download the Boot Camp flyer.