Spensa Technologies wins 2013 BioCrossroads New Venture Competition

October 22, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A firm based in the Purdue Research Park was named the top company among seven finalists Oct. 21 in the 2013 BioCrossroads New Venture Competition during the Life Sciences Summit reception in Indianapolis.

Spensa Technologies Inc. designs, develops and delivers novel technologies for the agricultural industry that reduce labor, foster eco-friendly farming and enhance production efficiency. Its first two products include MyTraps.com, a software platform that streamlines the pest control monitoring process, and Z-Traps, a fully automated field system for insect population monitoring.

Johnny Park, president and CEO, also is a Purdue alumnus and research assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

"The BioCrossroads New Venture Competition is one of the most prestigious competitions in the state, and this recognition strengthens our resolve to create technologies that will benefit the agriculture industry," he said. "We will continue to commercialize and market MyTraps.com and Z-Traps, which already are being sold in Europe, United States, Australia and South America."

In addition to a cash prize of $25,000, Spensa Technologies will have access to the Indiana Seed Fund II staff and the fund's network of resources to provide business planning and early-stage strategic support. Company officials also will have the opportunity to make a presentation to the ILSFII investment committee for added exposure.

Greg Deason, vice president and executive director of Purdue Foundry, said the success of companies like Spensa Technologies demonstrates the strength and depth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Purdue University, Purdue Research Park, Purdue Foundry and other organizations.

Other successful startups based on Purdue technologies include:

* Nutrabiotix LLC - A company based on research by Bruce Hamaker, the Roy L. Whistler Chair in Carbohydrate Science in Purdue's Department of Food Science, and Dr. Ali Keshavarzian, the Josephine M. Dyrenfort Chairperson in Gastroenterology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, that is advancing a designer fiber to help people affected by irritable bowel syndrome. The company recently received a two-year SBIR Phase II grant worth $2.5 million from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  

* Tymora Analytical Operations LLC - A company founded by W. Andy Tao, associate professor in biochemistry, and Anton Iliuk, a Purdue post-doctoral fellow, that provides nanotechnology-based products to serve the life sciences market. The company recently received a $150,000 SBIR Phase 1 Grant to further develop their technology.

* Bearing Analytics LLC - A company founded by Purdue students that could improve the operations of energy-generating devices and help manufacturers increase bearing life in machinery. The company recently won $100,000 by winning the student division of the 2013 Clean Energy Challenge through the U.S. Department of Energy.

Purdue's other patented technologies include new cancer treatments, alternative fuels, biomedical devices, agriculture innovations and others that are available for licensing through the Office of Technology Commercialization. For more information, call 765-588-3475, email otcip@prf.org.

About Spensa Technologies Inc.

Spensa Technologies is a startup housed in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette. The company was founded in 2009 by Johnny Park, president and CEO. Spensa's mission is to design, develop and deliver novel technologies for the agricultural industry that will reduce reliance on manual labor, foster eco-friendly farming and enhance crop production efficiency. Their technologies leverage the team's world-leading expertise in wireless sensor networks, robotics and computer vision.

About Purdue Foundry

Based in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, the Foundry enhances the outstanding activities already taking place in the facility. The Foundry supports faculty, staff and student innovators in all Purdue colleges and departments, and actively engages outside businesses and investors to encourage collaborative research and startup development.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park, with four locations across Indiana, has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The park network is home to about 240 companies that employ about 4,500 people and are located in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany. 

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

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

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