Purdue to expand entrepreneurship hub, increase commercialization endeavors

June 13, 2013  


BDM Center

The two-story, 31,000-square-foot Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park houses a number of offices, conference rooms and work spaces for Purdue University faculty, staff and student entrepreneurs. The Purdue Foundry will open on the second floor of the facility this summer. (Purdue University file photo)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University announces the July 15 opening of the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. The foundry will collaborate with longstanding activities already taking place in the center with a goal to increase the growing demand from Purdue innovators who have an interest in forming a startup or licensing their discoveries.

"Purdue has a great opportunity to expand the support of its robust entrepreneurial ecosystem that involves every Purdue college and department," said Dan Hasler, president of the Purdue Research Foundation and Purdue University's chief entrepreneurial officer. "We can do this by partnering with the entrepreneurial professionals already working in the Burton D. Morgan Center to guide and support Purdue innovators as they prepare to move their technologies to the people who need them."

The Purdue Foundry will be based on the second floor of the 31,000-square-foot Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. The center already houses a number of entrepreneurial activities, including business plan competitions and the Purdue Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program.

The foundry will be supported and managed by the Purdue Research Foundation and its team of intellectual property, business development and venture capital experts who will work in collaboration with entrepreneurial professionals already based in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

Center for Entrepreneurship

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship houses a number of initiatives to encourage entrepreneurial research by Purdue University's faculty, staff and students. The facility hosts a number of entrepreneurial activities, including business plan competitions, the Purdue Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program and the Purdue Foundry. (Purdue News Service photo) 
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"The opening of the Purdue Foundry within Discovery Park will allow us to use a more integrated approach for supporting Purdue students, faculty and staff," said Joe Pekny, a chemical engineering professor, entrepreneur and recently appointed interim director designate of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. "Providing a strong support system for Purdue innovators from discovery to commercialization under one roof will enable us to expand the services and programs we already provide."

The Purdue Foundry's primary success metric will be the doubling of Purdue's successful technology-based startup ventures over the next two years.

"Our mission is to make sure that all who could possibly improve the lives of others as a result of a Purdue invention get that chance. It's a tall order, but one I believe we are all up to," Hasler said. "We know there are many more Purdue faculty, staff and student innovators doing pioneering research that could lead to a startup or to market opportunity. We want to reach faculty, staff and student innovators by better focusing the support and assistance they need to be successful in their technology transfer activities."

Assistance to be provided by the Purdue Foundry includes:

*Product ideation and market analysis on an innovation.

*Development of a business plan.

*Help with finding funding sources, including SBIR grant writing.

*Counsel from legal advisers on corporate, intellectual property and immigration issues.

*Advice from alumni and faculty entrepreneurial mentors.

*Guidance from the Purdue Entrepreneurs-in-Residence.

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation provided support for the facility's construction. Morgan graduated from Purdue in 1938 with a major in mechanical engineering and was a prolific entrepreneur who founded 50 companies in his lifetime.

"The Burton D. Morgan Foundation continues to champion the work of Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, and we are excited about the expansion of startup services through the establishment of the Purdue Foundry," said Deborah D. Hoover, president and CEO of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. "Mr. Morgan would be bursting with pride at his alma mater's sophisticated and networked programs to assist entrepreneurs and their ventures."

The Purdue Foundry also will form partnerships with outside organizations such as Elevate Ventures, an Indianapolis-based startup support firm, to assist Purdue innovators.

"Research institutions like Purdue are powerhouses in generating cutting-edge ideas and technologies," said Steve Hourigan, CEO of Elevate Ventures. "It is a privilege to partner with Purdue's leadership in creating this collaborative platform, translating these ideas and technologies into high-potential, high-growth Indiana companies. We look forward to putting our manpower and investment dollars to work through the Purdue Foundry."

Successful faculty entrepreneurs applaud the formation of the Purdue Foundry.

Johnny Park, a research assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering, licensed his discovery, called Z-Trap, and formed Spensa Technologies in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette. His discovery controls insects in apple orchards and reduces the amount of insecticides emitted into the environment.

"Figuring out how to form a company is not something you learn as a researcher, but with the help of the technology transfer leaders, the business professionals and the marketing team at the Purdue Research Foundation, I received the help I needed to get my company off the ground," Park said. "Having this team available on campus will be a tremendous asset for Purdue innovators."

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, 765-413-6031, casequin@prf.org

Sources:

Dan Hasler, 765-588-3826, djhasler@purdue.edu

Joe Pekny, 765-494-7901, pekny@purdue.edu

Deborah D. Hoover, 330-655-1660, dhoover@bdmorganfdn.org

Steve Hourigan, 317-252-0258, shourigan@elevateventures.com

Johnny Park, 765-588-3592, johnny.park@spensatech.com 

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