Foundry Investment Fund invests in 3 life sciences startups

January 29, 2015  


Z-traps

Tom Puterbaugh, Spensa Technologies vice president of products, and Spensa CEO Johnny Park prepare to install the company's Z-Traps in an apple orchard. Spensa Technologies is one of three companies to receive $200,000 from the Foundry Investment Fund, established in 2014 through a partnership between Purdue Research Foundation and Cook Medical. (Purdue Research Foundation photo)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Officials with the Foundry Investment Fund announced Thursday (Jan. 29) that they closed three investments in the first year of the Fund's existence in life sciences startups based on Purdue intellectual property, innovations or expertise. Each investment happened to be for $200,000 and was made as a sidecar match to larger institutional investments in the companies.

John Hanak, entrepreneur-in-residence at the Purdue Foundry, explained how the fund provides a match to outside investors' funds.

"The fund adds critical capital for the transition from the discovery of a promising technology to founding a viable life sciences company," he said. "The fund looks to stimulate outside parties to invest in Purdue-based life sciences businesses and provide critical capital funds to entrepreneurial ventures that originate from Purdue innovation or expertise."

The $12 million Foundry Investment Fund was established in 2014 through a partnership between Purdue Research Foundation and Cook Medical. The fund seeks to join with other "smart money" investors to fund companies that are based on Purdue technology or expertise in the areas of human and animal health and plant sciences.

Companies funded during the course of the fund's first year were reviewed and approved  by the Foundry Investment Fund's investment committee. They include:

* FAST BioMedical has a technology that revolutionizes measuring plasma volume and kidney function, especially in the critically ill and patients undergoing major surgery. The Indianapolis-based company has raised $20 million in investment.

* Spensa Technologies, which develops and markets precision agriculture technologies. The Purdue Research Park-based company received $1.3 million from multiple investors and venture programs in 2014 and developed a partnership with Westfield, Indiana-based AgReliant Genetics LLC. A video about Spensa Technologies is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfqUGixU5xE

* Symic Biomedical is developing a new category of therapeutics that could offer an innovative approach to treating disease. Officials announced in January that the San Francisco-based company secured $15 million in Series A financing led by Indiana-based Lilly Ventures, and established a strategic alliance with Copenhagen-based Nordic Bioscience A/S. A video about Symic Biomedical is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrCqAInFKjM

"The investment committee of the Foundry Investment Fund will continue to review promising emerging companies that are receiving outside investment interest," Hanak said. "The committee looks forward to providing possible matching funds to those investments."

For more information, contact Hanak at jmhanak@prf.org, 317-616-1860.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. The Purdue Foundry is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org

Purdue Research Foundation contact:

Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org 

Source:

John Hanak, 317-616-1860, jmhanak@prf.org 

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