Research Foundation News

March 3, 2016  

Purdue startups raise more than $96 million in venture funding, create 156 positions

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Startups based on Purdue University patented intellectual property have raised more than $96 million in the past two years in local, state, federal and private funding and created 156 positions.

The funding was raised by the 24 members of the Purdue Startup Class of 2014 and the 25 members of the Purdue Startup Class of 2015. Both groups of startups licensed technologies from the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. In the same period, another 39 startups have originated from non-patented Purdue "know-how."

"In the past two years we have seen an incredible increase in startup creation that is demonstrated in Purdue's back-to-back record-breaking years," said Dan Hasler, president and chief entrepreneurial officer of the Purdue Research Foundation. "As we have always known, even more important than the quantity of the startups is their subsequent impact on economic value and commercial execution. We are pleased with how this cohort of companies is progressing."

The startup class is composed of companies that operate in sectors such as engineering, industrial technology, information technology, life sciences, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals and software. Positions created represent individuals working more than halftime at a company or working for equity in a startup.

Funding sources for startups include federal and state grants such as SBIR/STTR, venture funds and private funding. Purdue-affiliated startups also received funds from a number of Purdue funding programs including Purdue Ventures, a $37 million venture fund, and the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund, which is jointly operated by the Purdue Foundry and Elevate Ventures, a not-for-profit organization that supports startup creation and company growth in Indiana.

"These results would simply not be possible without the great support of Elevate Ventures," said Greg Deason, director of innovation and entrepreneurship for the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and Purdue Research Foundation. "With Elevate Ventures we have added $2 million of seed funding and have been able to expand our entrepreneurs-in-residence in the Purdue Foundry startup hub. These experienced business leaders have helped guide entrepreneurs and more than 100 new companies through the startup process."

The Purdue Startup Class of 2014 created their startups during fiscal year 2014, and the Purdue Startup Class of 2015 was founded in fiscal year 2015. Fiscal years run from July 1 to June 30. Only one of the 49 startups that licensed a Purdue innovation in the past two years has moved into an inactive status.

"That is incredible when you think about the average success rate for startups," Deason said. "I have to believe that the tremendous success rate of Purdue-affiliated startups has much to do with the environment at Purdue and Greater Lafayette where we have entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs become successful."

In addition to the Purdue Foundry, the Greater Lafayette area has Matchbox, a co-space facility for entrepreneurs in Lafayette, Indiana, and the Anvil, a Purdue student-run startup facility for students and the West Lafayette community. The city of West Lafayette supports the Anvil, which is located on the university campus.

"The fact that the vast majority of these startups have stayed in the Greater Lafayette area is a true testament to the entrepreneurial ecosystem that thrives in our community," said John Dennis, mayor of West Lafayette. "The Anvil is a very busy entrepreneurial hub and is already working at capacity because of the strong interest from the community and the university. The Anvil is recognized as an important resource in our community where people can get together, collaborate and receive professional guidance as they work to establish their startups."

Examples of Purdue-affiliated startups created in the past two years that have raised more than $200,000 in funds and generate product revenue include:

* AccuPS LLC - developing a high-definition 3-D motion-tracking technology for fast, accurate and easy-to-use 3-D user interface.

* ChopSaver– selling the product "Gosling's Original ChopSaver Lip Care" for chronic dry, chapped lips in over 7,400 CVS locations.

* DATTUS – provides an industrial Internet-of-Things platform (hardware + software) to make industrial machinery “smarter,” and helps industrial facilities compete in the rapidly evolving industrial environment through data-driven intelligent decision-making.

* FundSponge Inc. – helping nonprofits, student organizations and other groups raise funds through online purchases that their members or supporters already make.

Mobile Enerlytics LLC – developing technologies that catch energy glitches in mobile apps before every release and helps developers remove them. 

* PURSPEC Technologies Inc. – developing simple solutions for complex sample testing based on miniature mass spectrometer (MiniMS) system.

* Sagamore-Adams Laboratories LLC, addressing challenges in improving radiation detection and making sealants and adhesives greener and safer.

* SensorHound Inc. – developing new ways to improve the security and reliability of endpoints in the Internet of Things.

* SkyePack – commercializing a digital tool that offers an alternative to both textbooks and expensive e-readers and allows anyone to create classroom teaching materials that students can view on computers or smartphones.

* SpeechVive Inc. – developing a technology to help people with Parkinson's disease speak more loudly and communicate more effectively.

* TeraDeep – developing software and hardware to understand the content of images, videos and data.

* VinSense LLC – commercializing a visualization software platform to provide wineries and wine grape growers with more accurate real-time deep soil and microclimate data for optimum vineyard water management and harvest decision-making.

Purdue-affiliated startups created in the past two years that raised more than $200,000 in funding include:

* Akanocure Pharmaceuticals - developing anti-cancer small molecule drugs derived from natural origins to improve cancer treatments.

* Animated Dynamics Inc. (AniDyn) – developing a commercial biodynamic camera to improve cancer therapeutics. The new biodynamic camera will be available in the summer of 2016.

* High Performance Imaging LLC – creating a new way to make high-quality scientific and industrial imaging systems less expensive.

* On Target Laboratories Inc. - developing tumor-targeted fluorescent dyes for accurate localization, resection, and photoablation of cancer tissue during surgery.

* Prehensile Technologies - developing an assistive wheelchair mounting technology that allows power wheelchair users an efficient and easy-to-use method to more easily position and remove an iPad and other mobile devices.

* Spero Energy Inc. - commercializing a technology to improve the efficiency of alternative fuel production and create high-value, renewable chemicals used in the flavor and fragrance industry.

Symic Biomedical Inc. - developing a technology to improve treatments for people with osteoarthritis, end-stage renal disease and for diabetic or other hard-to-heal skin wounds.

* Vibronix Inc. - developing technologies to improve the diagnosis of heart disease, prostate cancer and breast cancer.

About the Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship where 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 International Business Innovation 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

About Elevate Ventures

Elevate Ventures is a private-venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long-term. As a not-for-profit organization, Elevate Ventures is able to offer unbiased, in-depth perspective and recommendations. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, its team and its funds under management, visit  

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340,

Sources: Dan Hasler, 765-588-3826,

Greg Deason, 765-588-5254, 

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