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IPFW Students Vie for International Title in Business Plan Competition

Every two years, students from colleges and universities all over the world take part in the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition, held at Singapore Management University. This year, a team of students from the Richard T. Doermer School of Business at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is heading to the final round of competition, which takes place August 25.

Under the direction of William Todorovic, associate professor of small business and entrepreneurship, the team put together a business plan and a startup concept for "Helios," a combination of solar energy-related technologies developed as two intellectual properties at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) that dramatically increase the efficiency and energy generation of solar cells in all weather conditions. These technologies are managed by Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation (IURTC) in Indianapolis.

604 teams registered for the sixth annual competition, which included submissions from 17 countries. Only 15 teams made it to the semi-final round, and of those, only six are going to the finals. Of those final teams, only one other, Duke University, is from the United States. The other teams are from universities in Hong Kong, Cape Town, South Africa, Singapore, and Canada.

The winner of the competition could get up to $60,000 in cash, prizes, and business development opportunities.

IPFW's team consists of business majors Caterina Kiefer, a junior from Germany; Richard Roudebush, a junior from Pleasant Lake, Ind.; Daniela Fox, a senior from Wolcottville, Ind.; and Selena Jankulovska, a sophomore from Macedonia. Selena said this competition is both a challenge and an honor. "I am extremely happy that we get to represent IPFW on an international level such as this. Our team has worked hard and we will continue to work hard right up to the end of the competition."

The inventors of the technologies at IUPUI are Kody Varahramyan, professor of electrical and computer engineering; Mangilal Agarwal, associate director for research development; Sudhir Shrestha, assistant research professor, with intellectual property on layer-by-layer thin film solar cell technology developed at Integrated Nanosystems Development Institute (INDI); and Afshin Izadian, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering technology, with an intellectual property on all-weather energy generation enhancement technology.

For more information on the competition and IPFW's team, contact Todorovic at 260-418-4301 or todorovz@ipfw.edu.

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