Purdue Research Park to build $12 million expansion for startup overflow

August 25, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A $12 million, 60,000-square-foot expansion of the Herman and Heddy Kurz Purdue Technology Center in the Purdue Research Park will provide needed space for startups and established companies, Purdue officials announced Tuesday (Aug. 25).

The Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette has been filled to near capacity for three years. Although the new space won't open until early 2017, about two-thirds, or 40,000 square feet, already has been leased. The 725-acre park, which is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country, has 51 buildings, nearly 1.7 million square feet of office and lab space, and is home to more than 260 companies that employ about 4,500 people. The park system, in conjunction with the Purdue Foundry, received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship.

"There is a lot of activity happening at Purdue in innovation, technology translation and startup creation, and we are literally bursting at the seams with the greater demand from companies for space to build their businesses," said Dan Hasler, president of Purdue Research Foundation, which manages the Purdue Research Park network. "Not only is the new expansion more than half filled, we are in talks with other entrepreneurs who are interested in moving into the space or who are already in the park and are expanding their own companies and need even more space."

The two-story expansion is planned for the east side of the Kurz building, located at 1281 Win Hentschel Blvd. About 75 percent of the new area is slated for office and meeting space, with the remainder for research and development.

The expansion plans include:

* A 10,000-square-foot collaborative space for co-working, meetings and a café.

* Built-in wet and dry lab space for research activities.

* Expanded business center for mail services, copying and other office needs.

* An additional 110 parking spaces added to the current 316 for the facility.  

"We are especially excited about the addition of 10,000 square feet for informal, flexible co-working space for the young startups," said Greg Napier, director of the Purdue Research Park. "It strengthens the culture of entrepreneurship already firmly established in the Purdue Research Park network."

 Johnny Park, president and CEO of Spensa Technologies Inc. and a Purdue research assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering, will move into the new space to support his growing company.

Founded in 2009, the precision agriculture company specializes in pest management technologies and currently has 26 employees with plans to create about 40 more jobs by 2019. Spensa will invest nearly $700,000 to expand its operations. In addition, the company received $635,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $40,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

"We started out in the Kurz building and have a strong desire to stay in the Purdue Research Park, but we needed more room," Park said. "The expansion of this building is great news for us and we look forward to moving in the new area. The value of the amenities and support from the Purdue Foundry, human resources guidance, marketing assistance and other benefits cannot be underscored enough in our success. We look forward to moving into the new space and continuing to grow our company."

About the Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The Purdue Research Park manages the Purdue Technology Centers in four sites in Indiana located in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany. The more than 260 companies located in the park network employ about 4,500 people who earn an average annual wage of $63,000. The park 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 

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org

Sources: Dan Hasler, 765-588-3826, djhasler@prf.org

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

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