Research Foundation News

August 2, 2017

Purdue names director of WestGate commercialization, startup creation partnership

Jason Salstrom Jason Salstrom, a technology commercialization and business development expert, will direct the Purdue@WestGate initiative to increase tech transfer and startup creation. Salstrom will direct all programs and activities of the Purdue Foundry and Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization at the WestGate Technology Park and WestGate Authority. (Salstrom Image)
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ODON, Ind., CRANE, Ind., and WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A technology commercialization and business development expert will direct the Purdue@WestGate initiative to increase tech transfer and startup creation in partnership with the WestGate AuthorityNaval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation.

Jason Salstrom will direct all programs and activities of the Purdue Foundry and the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization at the WestGate Technology Park and WestGate Authority. WestGate Authority covers the WestGate@Crane Technology Park, a certified tri-county technology park located in Greene, Daviess, and Martin counties; which includes the Battery Innovation Center. WestGate Authority already works closely with NSWC Crane Division, I-69 Innovation Corridor, Indiana Office of Defense Development, WorkOne and other local and state economic development entities. WestGate is the only multi-county tech park in Indiana.

Salstrom will also establish programming provided by the Purdue Foundry such as the Spirited Entrepreneur, a monthly casual networking opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors and area leaders, and Foundry Grounds, a weekly entrepreneurial event where startup founders present their companies before peers and potential partners.  He also will lead the establishment of Firestarter, a cohort-based process where innovators and entrepreneurs work through ideation and market discovery to prove out their ideas and determine a path forward to commercialize their idea. 

“Jason brings a wealth of experience and connections to this important position and we are delighted to have him lead the Purdue@WestGate,” said Greg Deason, senior vice president of Purdue Research Foundation and director of innovation and commercialization for the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Purdue University’s Discovery Park. “The opportunities for tech transfer, startup creation and economic growth are great through the research and development activities at Crane and across Southern Indiana. We all look forward to what the next few months will bring with Jason at the helm.”

Salstrom led the technology commercialization initiatives at the University of Southern Indiana for the past three years. He also developed four major initiatives:

• A business model competition (BIZCOM).

• A software competition (APPCOM).

• The Eagle Innovation (startup) Accelerator and Pre-Accelerator.

• A redesign of USI’s Technology Commercialization Academy to train students and give them real-world experience helping local companies innovate and grow.

“Through the Westgate Tech Park partners, including Greene, Daviess and Martin counties, LEDOs, Radius, the state, NSWC Crane, Regional Opportunity Initiatives, the BIC and the WestGate Academy, we already have a strong base for economic growth,” Salstrom said. “But bringing Purdue and its award-winning entrepreneurial and startup programs to Purdue@WestGate will provide a tremendous impetus for Southern Indiana today and for generations to come. I plan to focus on generating collaborative outreach and client development to not only help in tech transfer activities but support startups during the critical first three years after creation.”

Salstrom also served as a defense contractor for the U.S. Navy and helped launch a family business in Evansville, Indiana. He earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Park University in Missouri, and a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

In late July, Purdue Research Foundation announced a long-term partnership with WestGate Authority and NSWC Crane to move patented technologies to the private sector that were developed for the U.S. Department of Defense but show strong adaptability to serve other societal purposes. The Purdue@WestGate collaborators will lead this initiative. 

For more information about Purdue@WestGate, contact Salstrom at 812-483-0935, jason.salstrom@gmail.com.

About WestGate

Many professionals, elected officials, business leaders, and civic figures have worked for the development of a technology park adjacent to NSA Crane Division and CAAA. WestGate@Crane Technology Park collaborates with numerous tenants and a variety of organizations and businesses such as local and state economic development corporations, NSA Crane Division, I-69 Innovation corridor, Indiana Office of Defense Development, and WorkOne. WestGate@Crane Tech Park is the ideal location for business to grow and thrive due to its strategic location.

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub 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 received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by 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.  

About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at innovation@prf.org.

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Cynthia Sequin, 765-413-6031, casequin@prf.org

Sources: 

Greg Deason, 765-588-5251, gwdeason@prf.org

Jason Salstrom, 812-483-0935, jason.salstrom@gmail.com


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