Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

Leadership Academy

2013-2014 Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy: Fellows and Project Areas

The Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy is a resource support program for Purdue faculty who have entrepreneurial interests.

The goals of the program are to: increase technology commercialization on the Purdue campus through education about the resources and support available at Purdue and the Purdue Research Park; enhance the capabilities of faculty who are interested in leading interdisciplinary research programs, centers, and partnerships that might lead to translational activities; support faculty who are interested in developing entrepreneurial courses or research projects; create a network of faculty with shared entrepreneurial interests; and introduce faculty to discussions about leadership skills and contribute to the cadre of the next generation of faculty leaders.

Ten faculty members are competitively selected each year to participate in the Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy. A faculty member from the previous year is selected to serve as the Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy Scholar. Each Fellow receives $5,000 in seed funding for a project; each Scholar receives $15,000 for continued project work.

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Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy Fellows 2013-2014

John Lumkes, lumkes@purdue.edu - Scholar

Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Associate Professor

I am interested in two commercialization efforts, which although very different in terms of technology, location, and barriers, have process similarities that were explored during my involvement in this program last year as a fellow. The first project was the development of several digital hydraulic patents focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of fluid power systems. The 2012-2013 presentations on commercialization, financing, and management provided new insight and broadened my engineering and technology focus. The second project was the development of micro-business opportunities in developing countries focused on sustainable technologies related to energy, transportation, and agriculture. Technologies considered included low cost transportation and agricultural vehicles, and technology education/dissemination through cellular based apps. Presentations on app development and trends were very helpful. My involvement as an ELA fellow has helped with the initiation of a micro-factory in Cameroon for the production of basic utility vehicles and gathering more use data and market feedback. This year I will focus more on how Purdue students and faculty can improve global impact through the commercialization of sustainable technologies and social entrepreneurship.

John Turek, turekj@purdue.edu - Scholar

I am Co-Founder of Animated Dynamics (AniDyn) LLC, www.anidyn.com) along with Professor David Nolte in Physics. Ran An, Anidyn's first Chief Technical Officer and PhD Candidate in Professor David D. Nolte's Physics laboratory, led Animated Dynamics to a first place Gold Division win in the 26th Annual Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition. Anidyn is located in the Kurz Purdue Technology Center. The company goal is to further develop and commercialize applications for our 3D functional biodynamic imaging platform. Biodynamic imaging (BDI) is based on sub-cellular motion within cells. BDI provides information from a 3D tissue volume that includes a health or viability metric, a spectral fingerprint of tissue response to any drug or xenobiotic, and an image map of drug effects within different zones of a tissue or tumor. Current applications include (1) Biodynamic imaging modules to convert existing light microscopes into biodynamic microscopes (2) De-risking drug discovery using 3D tissue-based screening (3) Rapid identification of the best chemotherapeutic drugs for cancer patients by direct phenotypic testing of tumor tissue. (4) Quantitative assessment of oocytes for assisted reproductive technology.

Azza Ahmed, ahmedah@purdue.edu

Associate Professor, School of Nursing

My research focus is on developing interventions that promote and sustain breastfeeding among mothers as a measure to promote maternal/child health. In collaboration with colleagues from Cyber Center and Bindley Bioscience Center, we have developed and upgraded LACTOR. LACTOR is an interactive web-based breastfeeding monitoring system. The system has two main components: the Mothers’ Portal where mothers enter their breastfeeding data and receive notifications and the Lactation Consultants’ Portal where the lactation consultant can monitor mothers’ data. The system recognizes patterns of mothers’ responses that indicate breastfeeding problems and sends automated immediate feedback to mother and offers suggestions to solve the problem, while alerting the lactation consultant. LACTOR is a creative breastfeeding monitoring measure that takes place after hospital discharge, makes efficient use of clinicians’ time, and keeps the lactation consultant aware of what is happening with mothers. As a participant in the Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy, I hope to learn more about the commercialization process and strategies for bringing new technologies to market.

Bruce Applegate, applegate@purdue.edu

Food Sciences

I plan to use my participation in the Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy (ELA) to provide information and resources to prepare a business plan to facilitate starting a small business. The startup company will be directly related to 2 previously issued patents one held by Purdue and another co owned by Purdue and the University of Tennessee. As the inventor of this technology I have unique insight into the potential of its commercialization and would like to couple this knowledge with the experiences I can gain from attending the ELA to lead and be successful with this endeavor. The ELA and the structure of the program, specifically presentations given by successful entrepreneurs will provide me with valuable insight into starting a company in which I can lead the endeavor or if funding sources dictate I have a secondary role provide with the knowledge to have greater influence in influencing crucial decisions related to the technologies.

Monica Cox, mfc@purdue.edu

Associate Professor of Engineering Education

My entrepreneurial interests relate to the development of engineering education assessment tools that will be housed in an assessment and evaluation enterprise known as the International Institute for Engineering Education Assessment (i2e2a). I believe that there is an emerging market for engineering education assessment tools such as the one that I have created, the Global Real-time Assessment Tool for Teaching Enhancement (G-RATE), a multidimensional feedback instrument that is informed from empirical research about effective teaching practices in engineering and offers instant feedback to instructors about their teaching practices. Being a member of the ELA gives me an opportunity to learn fundamental principles that I may apply to my assessment innovations, to provide alternative instructor evaluation services to higher education institutions, and to start a company that will house groundbreaking reliable and valid educational tools that may be implemented across the globe.

April Ginther, aginther@purdue.edu

English, Associate Professor; Oral English Proficiency Program, Director

I have a single ELA project – the potential for commercialization a post-entry English language assessment. Purdue’s Post-entry Language Assessment (PELA) is currently being developed. PELA will be a computer-administered assessment with separate subsections for the four skills and several integrated (reading/writing and listening/speaking) tasks. The assessment will incorporate automated scoring where possible and appropriate, and human rating for selected speaking and writing tasks/items. The proof of concept version will be internet based and will include a computer-based platform for registration, automated scoring where possible and appropriate, and human rating where necessary. As the program will include an appropriate platform for registration, delivery, and rating, PELA will provide a considerable improvement over widely-used paper and pencil assessments that most institutions depend on for post-entry assessment of their growing international populations of undergraduate and graduate students. I am interested in exploring the potential of this instrument for commercialization.

Bumsoo Han, bumsoo@purdue.com

Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering

My project at ELA aims to develop a commercialization plan of a new organ-on-chip platform capable of rapidly screening drug candidates and formulations for efficacy and toxicity. Drug discovery is a complex, large-scale, and challenging enterprise. It has been reported that it usually takes about 10 – 15 years to develop one FDA approved drug, and corresponding cost is approximately $1 billion. During this process, about 10,000 candidate chemicals need to be screened for their efficacy and toxicity using various platforms including typical cell culture, small and large animal models, and clinical trials. Thus, if this screening process becomes more efficient and rapid, the drug discovery and development can significantly be accelerated. The corresponding development cost and time can also be substantially reduced. In this context, my laboratory recently develops a new type of microfluidic platform, so called as "organ-on-chip", to address the major limitations of current drug testing platforms. I will explore the possibility of commercializing this platform by - i) identifying potential customers including pharmaceutical companies, research laboratories, and regulatory agencies; and ii) prioritizing their needs.

Chad Jafvert, jafvert@purdue.edu

Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Professor

My students and I have several ideas related to point-of-use drinking water treatment that we think may have commercial value. This past year, two students who have been working with me on these issues placed 3rd in the undergraduate category of the Burton Morgan business plan competition. The goal is to further develop and commercialize inexpensive, simple slow-sand-filter "kits" that are easy to transport anywhere, and that give the users the ability to build a treatment system that products water that meets EPA criteria for turbidity. Similar "kits" for disinfection and disinfectant analysis are in development.

Kevin Keener, kkeener@purdue.edu

Food Science, Professor and Food Process Engineer

My extension and research efforts at Purdue University focus on technical assistance to and development of new technologies for the food and pharmaceutical industries. A number of these technologies have been patented but remain a novelty. My goal from the ELA is to learn about the commercialization process with a long term goal of identifying one of my technologies most suited for commercialization and developing it into a successful business venture.

Sulma Mohammed, mohammes@purdue.edu

Associate Professor, Comparative Pathobiology

Our laboratory for the last 11 years have been studying breast cancer and we identified biomarkers that will predict which women with breast cancer would develop metastasis. We have discovered proteins that can identify if a patient has a potential to develop metastatic cancer with a blood test. We are in the process to validate these markers to show proof of principal in application for an interested licensee. As an entrepreneurial scholar, my plans are to learn more about entrepreneurial skills and commercialization concepts to develop a metastasis detection kit that would routinely be used for management of breast cancer and to stratify women according to risk of developing metastasis.

Matthew Murawski, murawski@purdue.edu

Associate Professor, Pharmacy Administration

As a one-time practicing pharmacist and researcher, I have spent a great deal of time developing my expertise in psychometrics in order to assess the impact of medical interventions- (psychometrics has to do with “instrument” development- the use of standardized questionnaires to elicit quantitative responses from individuals). Current research is focused on an automated version of an instrument developed to screen for adverse drug reactions or adverse drug experiences (“side effects”) in ambulatory patient populations. We currently are using a version 1.0 of this idea loaded on an I-Pad platform to gather data. The ELA challenge is to develop this application in such a manner that it shall be adopted by a large number of pharmacists and pharmacies, at which point the data collected will help create the science we feel exists in a better understanding of “side effects” impact n patient’s adherence to their prescribed medications and overall health. Commercial development will drive scientific development, which will, in turn, enhance the commercial potential. Recognizing the challenge this represents, I felt the ELA would be an especially appropriate opportunity to explore this challenge. Our working version can be seen at: http://www.pharmacy.purdue.edu/ptrqol/

Vikas Tomar, tomar@purdue.edu

Aeronautics & Astronautics

As part of ELA I plan to work towards starting up an enterprise focusing on experiments and computational software to perform nanoscale to micron scale structural and force non-contact tomography of material interfaces. Such technique can enable observation of nanoscale and micron scale interfaces and interfacial forces in materials as a function of temperature and as a function of environment. This link between forces and construction at the nanoscale and micron scale using software-hardware combination offers a powerful approach to predict material and structural genomic advances for developing new materials, structures, and devices. The target areas I am focusing for potential funding are:

  • Nanoelectronics: Using Dr. Tomar’s advances it is now possible to measure and predict mechanical and thermal properties of extreme scale electronics such as those in high temperature energy systems, nuclear energy, war-fighters, hypersonic air vehicles, etc.
  • Alternative energy: A lot of alternative energy technologies suffer from the lack of characterization methods that are able to offer in-situ measurements of performance due to such materials working in hazardous environments. Boeing related Li-ion battery tech is one such example. Using Dr. Tomar’s technologies one can observe micron scale performance of temperature dependent thermal and chemical properties of such batteries.
  • Biotechnology: In biotechnology research immense focus is on how to transfer in-vitro measurements to in-vivo measurements and observations. Since the methods developed in Dr. Tomar’s lab are based on contactless measurements, such a feat is now possible. This technology development can now be specifically used to correlate substrate-cell interaction forces to in-vivo cell-particle adhesion forces. This setup then can be used to measure effectiveness of polymer based drug delivery devices, effective ness of localized cell level therapies etc.

Oliver Wendt, olli@purdue.edu

Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences

I am co-founder of “SPEAK Modalities”, Inc. (www.speakmod.org), a start-up company to commercialize software applications that have been developed in my research lab on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). SPEAK MODalities offers evidence-based speech and language training apps for individuals with severe communication disorders, for example, children with severe autism or developmental disorders. The product suite currently includes AAC tools for communication via graphic symbols on a tablet device (SPEAK all! and SPEAK now!), language generalization tools to teach semantic concepts (SPEAK more!), tools for engaging the support team for each child in a common therapeutic experience (SPEAK together!), and a cloud-based community where successful therapeutic lessons can be created, shared, and sold by community members (SPEAK cloud!). As a scholar of ELA, I plan to refine go-to-market strategies, develop business plan and financing options, and prepare for fund raising.

Yue Wu, weyuenano@gmail.com

Chemical Engineering

My entrepreneurial interest is to commercialize nanostructured thermoelectric materials and devices to benefit two particular areas:

  1. Waste heat recovery
  2. Motion sensing

The waste heat recovery will significantly help the manufacture industry, power industry, and automobile industry to improve the energy efficiency by harvesting low grade heat to electricity, while the motion sensing will provide self-powered, concealable, flexible, and low cost wireless motion sensors for defense and civilian surveillance applications. As a scholar of ELA, I focus on the prototype development to accelerate the commercialization process and business development to bring innovative technologies from my lab to market.

About Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship fosters the understanding and application of entrepreneurship with faculty and students across the Purdue campus and with stakeholders throughout the State.

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