Research Foundation News

April 12, 2017

Purdue student startup hub names finalists for Boiler Business Competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Three Purdue University student-based startup companies have been named finalists to compete for $15,000 in prizes during the annual Boiler Business Competition, or the Boiler.

An annual seed accelerator competition hosted by the Anvil, the Boiler started in 2013 with a goal to seek and encourage entrepreneurship activities outside the classroom. The Anvil is a student-run startup co-space center adjacent to the Purdue campus.

Finalists were narrowed from an initial field of 30 competitors. Five semifinalist teams accepted through the initial pitch round each received $500. Two wild card teams each received $300.

“We’re very pleased to have so many outstanding competitors,” said Connor Van Ooyen, director of the Anvil. “There were many outstanding startups and it was tough to narrow down the finalists to just three.”

The three finalists will each receive $1,000 and pitch their business plans to a panel of angel investors and venture capitalists on Demo Day, at 4:30 p.m., April 28 at the Anvil, 320 North St., West Lafayette, Indiana. The first-, second- and third-place teams will receive $5,000, $3,000 and $1,500, respectively.

The three finalists are:

  • Bellwether Design Solutions: A company that allows homebuilders to give their clients virtual reality tours of what their newly constructed homes will look like, and allow them to make changes before construction is finished.
  • Trubadour: A company that takes charge of user submitted poems via mobile web to improve the experience for readers and poets alike.
  • Explore Interactive: A company that creates augmented reality educational games for elementary classrooms.

A fourth team, Commons, is a non-profit entity that will pitch on Demo Day but will not compete for prizes. Commons is a software platform company that allows users to see how their representatives have voted on bills.

Competing teams get free office space, workshops and funding throughout the competition as well as an opportunity to receive professional advice and business development strategies from entrepreneurial experts and from the Purdue Foundry, a startup accelerator in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

About the Anvil

The Anvil is the largest co-working space operated by university students in the U.S. and is used by Purdue University students as well as the surrounding community. The Anvil is located at 320 North St. in West Lafayette, Indiana, adjacent to the Purdue campus.

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. Managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, the Purdue Foundry was named a top recipient at the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation and Awards Program by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities 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

Purdue Research Foundation Contact: Curt Slyder, 765-588-3342,

Source: Connor Van Ooyen, 

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