Purdue student business competition announces first phase finalists

February 17, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Five Purdue University student-based startups have been selected to compete in the Boiler Mini-Accelerator Competition or "Boiler," where they will compete for nearly $10,000 in funding.

The Boiler, a student-run business competition hosted by the Anvil, a community co-working space and business incubator in West Lafayette, is geared for aspiring entrepreneurs who seek funds to support their startup idea.

"This year's applicants were the best we've had yet. Overall, the startup ideas and companies that applied are impressive," said Grant Gumina, student lead at the Anvil. "It really shows how much the startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem here at Purdue and West Lafayette is growing."

The Boiler takes place over eight weeks, and participants receive professional advice and business development strategies from entrepreneurial experts at the Purdue Foundry, a startup resource center in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Teams also are provided with mentoring from industry leaders and experts, office space, workshops and funding to enable their startups to reach the next level.

"A big change to this year's competition is the number of mentors and advisers we're bringing into the program," said Gumina. "Each week companies in the Boiler will spend time with Purdue alumni venture capitalists and founders who'll be offering advice, assistance and connections."

The competition culminates on Demo Day, set for April 17, in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, where three finalists will present their startups to investors, members of the startup community and a panel of judges.

Winners will receive $5,000, $3,000 and $1,500 for first, second and third places, with free and discounted professional services offered to teams that place first and second. These funding awards are in addition to the initial $1,500 each of the teams received to use as seed money and further develop their startups.

The five teams chosen to participate in this year's Boiler competition are:

* Adeptee - a startup that connects users to experts for Q&A and guidance to all problems. Users will be able to access professionals and organizations through a mobile app and Web-based platforms via text, audio and video. Team members include Ivan Zhang, Andrew Koroluk, College of Science, and Lukas Ingersoll, College of Health and Human Sciences.

* Dunmo - a company building the ultimate task scheduler application. Dunmo intelligently manages and tracks a user's schedule and provides analysis on how the user is performing on various tasks. Team members include Jeremy Meyer, Laolu Adeyo and Michael Goldman, College of Science.

* Spotter - a startup whose technology is the "FitBit" for weightlifting. Spotter attaches to workout equipment and tracks the user's reps. Team members include Chris Price and Dan Golant, College of Technology.

* Tunr - a company that allows people passionate about owning their own music a way to do that but still experience all the benefits from streaming their music to multiple devices. The company was created by Hayden McAfee, College of Science.

* UPrint - a company whose technology provides a simple way for Purdue students to print on campus. Team members include Jack Schen, Joseph Watkins and Pat Eartho Sabpisal, College of Engineering, and Rick Li, College of Health and Human Sciences.

"We are so grateful for the amount of support we have received from the community and our sponsors," Gumina said. "We would not be able to hold the Boiler competition without their guidance and monetary support."

Other sponsors of the Boiler competition include the Purdue chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals.

Last year's winner was Mimir LLC, a cloud-based classroom for computing courses that allows instructors to develop and students to complete programming projects and more conventional assignments online. The student startup took top honors and $5,000 during "Demo Day."

About the Anvil

The Anvil is a co-working space at Purdue University that serves the unique needs of passionate students, acting as the center of creative culture in West Lafayette. The Anvil focuses on providing local and student run startups affordable office space as well as access to some of the best engineering talent in the country.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, 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 and strong business support system. For more information about investing in a Purdue startup or licensing a Purdue innovation, visit PurdueFoundry.com 

Writer: Hillary Henry, Purdue Research Foundation

Source: Grant Gumina, 616-516-0561, grantgumina@gmail.com

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org 

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