PNW Big Sell Finalists: 12 Entrepreneurs Selected to Vie for Start-up Cash Prizes April 29

By: Purdue University Northwest Last Updated: April 14, 2017

Purdue-Northwest-colorTwelve entrepreneurs have been selected as finalists in Purdue University Northwest’s PNW Big Sell, Saturday, April 29.

The competition, held at the university’s Hammond Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center (CMEC), 7150 Indianapolis Blvd., provides an opportunity for individuals with new business ideas to vie for start-up cash prizes.

Competing for $8,000
The 12 finalists were determined by two-minute video pitches they presented about their business idea as part of the application process. The finalists are competing for first, second and third place prizes of $5,000, $2000 and $1000, respectively.

Each finalist will make a six-minute presentation about their business idea to a panel of judges. The April 29 event, scheduled from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., also will feature a keynote presentation and panel discussions for entrepreneurs and small business owners. A limited number of tickets remain available. For information visit

PNW Big Sell finalists are:

  • Alex Finch, Purdue Foundry
  • Matthew Albaugh, Purdue Foundry
  • Cody Welch, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
  • Rick Peregoy, NW Indiana
  • Caren DeCaris, Purdue Northwest
  • R.J. Jarecki, Purdue Northwest
  • Ryan Preston, Purdue Foundry
  • Oliver Wendt, Purdue Foundry
  • Glenn Landmesser, NW Indiana resident
  • Jennifer Lovette-Cephus, NW Indiana resident
  • Scott Massey, Purdue Foundry
  • Amelia Wistuk & James Hurley, Southern Vermont College

The finalists include three NW Indiana residents, two Purdue Northwest students, six competitors from downstate Indiana and a duo from Vermont.

‘Fierce’ competition
According to PNW Big Sell facilitator and Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center Associate Director Mont Handley, competition was fierce for the seventh annual event, which is co-sponsored by the university’s College of Business and College of Technology.

Business ventures range from upcycling Alpaca fur, Aquaponic food production, a medical device and nutritional app, to new processes to deliver homemade food and payloads into space.

“Purdue Northwest is committed to helping drive regional economic development,” PNW Dean of the College of Business Jane Mutchler said. “We believe that providing opportunities for entrepreneurs and students to advance new business ideas through this competition is a way to do that.”

Niaz Latif, dean of PNW’s College of Technology, added, “CMEC is designed to be a place where entrepreneurs and innovators of NW Indiana can commercialize their inventions and business ventures.”

Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW), a comprehensive regional university within the Purdue University system, has two Northwest Indiana campuses in Hammond and Westville. The university was established by the unification of the former Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central. With more than 15,000 students enrolled last fall and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university. For more information about PNW, visit