Purdue's Emerging Innovations Fund invests in sensor software reliability and security startup

March 3, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A company that has licensed a Purdue University tracking software innovation has been awarded funding from the Emerging Innovations Fund, an evergreen fund created to accelerate the commercialization of Purdue's early-stage discoveries.

SensorHound Inc., a company that focuses on technology that improves reliability and reduces the operations cost of networked embedded systems, also called the Internet of Things (IoT), received $75,000 with a potential to receive an additional $75,000 if certain performance milestones are met. The company is based on research from Purdue University's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Computer Science.

SensorHound was founded by Vinai Sundaram, who earned his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering; Patrick Eugster, a Purdue associate professor of computer science; and Matthew Tan Creti, who is a doctoral candidate in electrical and computer engineering.

"This funding from the Emerging Innovations Fund will help us advance SensorHound to the next level," Sundaram said. "Smart grids, smart homes and smart cities are next-generation applications on the IoT. They require reliable and secure sensor software, and our technology can provide that. In particular, our company provides automated solutions to remotely detect and diagnose software anomalies associated with reliability and security of the IoT."

SensorHound was awarded a Phase I SBIR grant worth $150,000 from the National Science Foundation in 2014 and is part of FOUNDER.org and Alchemist Accelerator. A video about the company is available at http://youtu.be/HivLOiCJ7JE.

The Emerging Innovations Fund is designed specifically to support new business ventures built on Purdue discoveries or located in the Purdue Research Park network. The fund is designed to bridge the gap between the enterprise formation and third-party equity financing. Diligence reviews are done by teams composed of competitively selected graduate students and seniors mainly from the Krannert School of Management in collaboration with Purdue Research Foundation professionals.

"The Student Managed Venture Fund is an experiential learning course that involves a partnership between Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Krannert School of Management and the Purdue Research Foundation," said Richard Cosier, the Leeds Professor and Dean Emeritus of the Krannert School of Management. "Students work with Purdue innovators and entrepreneurs who have submitted a proposal for funding and make investment recommendations to the EIF board."

Early-stage and pre-series A Purdue Research Park companies and new ventures formed by Purdue faculty, staff and students are eligible to apply for the Emerging Innovations Fund.

"It is an initiative that brings together ideas, management and money to accelerate the commercialization of early-stage technologies in the Purdue community," said Chad Pittman, vice president of the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. "Funding is applied toward critical commercially relevant development; we hope to improve the probability of attracting follow-on funding."

Applications for the next round of Emerging Innovations Fund awards will be due in summer.

About SensorHound Inc.

SensorHound specializes in software and services that improve reliability and reduce the operations cost of networked embedded systems, the enabling technology behind smart grids, energy-efficient buildings, smart manufacturing and high-precision agriculture.

About the Emerging Innovations Fund

In 2008 Purdue Research Foundation and Purdue University introduced the Emerging Innovations Fund, an integrated approach to research innovation, development and commercialization. The Emerging Innovations Fund is a self-sustaining initiative that brings together ideas, management and money to accelerate the commercialization of early-stage technologies in the Purdue community. Purdue Research 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 

Writer: Melissa Wang, 765-588-1041, mkwang@prf.org

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

Sources: Richard Cosier, 765-494-4353, rcosier@purdue.edu

Chad Pittman, 765-588-3473, capittman@prf.org

Vinai Sundaram, vinai@sensorhound.com 

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