News Room

MBA Student Competitions

Seven students in Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne's (IPFW) Richard T. Doermer School of Business and Management Sciences MBA degree program are hitting the road this month to take part in international business plan competitions where they will showcase two technologies that are intellectual properties of Purdue University-West Lafayette.

At the University Research and External Support (URES) Symposium, which begins this Thursday, April 3, in Boston, Massachusetts, the team of Bryant Ireland, Beata Ksionski, and Brain Schwenk will present a technology known as Bio Vision.

According to John Wellington, dean of the Doermer School of Business, "Bio Vision is a high tech solution to the detection of food borne pathogens such as salmonella and e. coli that may populate meat, dairy, fruit, vegetable, and seafood products. BioVision is a fast and simple-to-operate technology that is less labor intensive and less expensive than existing methods. The technology could enable the food processing industry to avoid devastating recalls of contaminated food discovered after processing and distribution to final consumers."

The second team, consisting of James Alt, Stephen Hakel, James Ogle, and Aleshia Panbamrung, will attend the San Francisco International Business Plan Competition (IBPC) April 24-26. The IBPC is an annual event that attracted nearly ninety submissions for the 2008 competition. Twenty-four were selected and invited to the final round in San Francisco. The final round includes graduate students from Cambridge (UK), Carnegie Mellon, Duke, MIT, Stanford, Michigan, Yale, and teams from Canada, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and Spain.

In San Francisco, the IPFW team will promote commercialization of a technology for translating the spoken word into American Sign Language (ASL). Wellington explained, ...the spoken word is translated to a signing image that is displayed on a computer screen. The image known as an avatar includes recognizable ASL signing and facial expressions that complement it. It was originally developed to support math and science learning for deaf and hearing impaired students in elementary grades."

IPFW's participation in the competitions is made possible through the generous support of BKD and Tom Cottrel. "Without that support, we could not take the best visions of our young people to forums such as IBPC and URES where they compete with the best students from the best universities in the States and beyond," said Wellington.

The students in the competitions are under the direction of Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing William Todorovich. For more information, contact Wellington at 260-481-6461 or