Student Projects Place 1st and 2nd in Entrepreneurial Contest
Computer Science students earned top honors at the 21st Annual Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition. Computer Science PhD candidate Murali Krishna Ramanathan, with teammates Sirsha Chatterjee (PhD candidate in Economics), Prof. Ananth Grama, and Prof. Suresh Jagannathan placed first in the Gold Division of the competition. Computer Science undergraduate John Bohlmann, along with Amit Pahwa and project team leader Daniel Poynter, took second place in the Black Division.
Purdue students competed on Tuesday, April 8 for $100,000 in cash and in-kind services in two categories -- Black and Gold Divisions.
The annual competition started with 47 executive summary submissions describing innovative product and service offerings. Five undergraduate (Black Division) and five graduate (Gold Division) student-led teams then were invited to make 30-minute presentations on their business plans.
Ramanathan and SmartAn Inc. won the $40,000 first prize, along with $5,000 in legal and consulting services from Ice Miller LLC. SmartAn Inc. represents a concept for automated software testing and development based on Ramanathan's dissertation. It was judged to present a coherent solution to a significant problem currently facing large software development enterprises. SmartAn is in the process of filing patent(s) based on their project.
Ramanathan is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at Purdue. His research interests lie in software engineering, program analysis, distributed systems and graph algorithms. His PhD advisors are Prof. Ananth Grama and Suresh Jagannathan. Co-Team Leader, Sirsha Chatterjee is a PhD candidate in Economics.
Bohlmann and his group ranked second in the Black Division with their Digital Literacy Contest (DLC) project. With their placing the group received a $7,000 prize. The DLC is a 30-minute contest in which scores of students compete in computer labs to search for difficult to find answers on the Internet. Purdue Libraries is interested in learning how students use the web, so they are particularly interested in this business plan. Considering the success of DLC, Bohlmann and his group anticipate expanding the project to other universities in the fall.
Bohlmann is freshman in computer science. He recently started an ACM SIG for Game Development (SIGGD), is a member of the ACM, and an ACM board member. His team leader, Daniel Poynter is a senior in philosophy, and group member, Amit Pahwa is a sophomore in management. CS sophomore George Tebbetts is also involved in the project. He has helped with web and backend work, though he did not participate in the competition.
Congratulation to the SmartAn Inc. and Digital Literacy Contest Teams!