Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund announces inaugural funding awards for Indiana startups

January 20, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund officials announced Tuesday (Jan. 20) that 10 Indiana startups will each receive a $20,000 First-Tier Black Award.

"There were 26 Purdue Foundry startup applicants from nearly every sector that applied for this inaugural round of funding, and selecting the awardees was competitive and difficult," said Greg Deason, executive director of the Purdue Foundry. "What we witnessed is a testament to the quality and strength of Purdue's entrepreneurial environment, and we encourage all those who did not receive funding this time to apply for the next round."

The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund is operated jointly by the Purdue Foundry and Elevate Ventures.

"An important goal of the program is to generate more startups in Indiana and keep talented innovators and entrepreneurs in our state," said Ting Gootee, Elevate Ventures chief investment officer. "The results of this first round of startup applicants is a clear indication that the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund will be a strong economic contributor for Indiana in terms of job creation, talent retention and technology development."

The companies selected for this very competitive round were chosen by a six-person Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund Investment Committee based on the strength of company plans and teams. The startups receiving the funding are:

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

*Akanocure Pharmaceuticals, synthesizes and develops complex cancer therapies based on naturally occurring molecules..

*Animated Dynamics Inc., a life sciences firm providing live-tissue imaging technology to improve biodynamic imaging in health care.

*Aten Biotherapeutics LLC, a life sciences company developing a controlled-release MRI imaging agent that could provide greater MRI detail with less toxicity.

*Atlas Energy Systems LLC, an alternative energy company commercializing a device that could convert nuclear waste into energy.

*KinaSense LLC, a life sciences firm developing diagnostic and treatment methods for cancer patients.

*Mobile Enerlytics LLC, a software company developing a technology to increase smartphone battery life and reduce energy usage of smartphone apps.

*Prehensile Technologies, which designs and develops assistive technologies for individuals with disabilities.

*SensorHound LLC, a software and services startup developing technology to improve the reliability and reduce the cost of networked embedded systems.

*SPEAK MODalities LLC, a software company offering iPAD applications to help children and families dealing with non-verbal autism improve communications and further develop language skills.

The First-Tier Black Award is in the form of a nonrecourse convertible promissory note, and notes will be finalized directly with Elevate Ventures. The First-Tier Black Award also qualifies the startups to apply for a Second-Tier Gold Award that is available in amounts up to $80,000 through a convertible debt or equity investment, upon reaching pre-established milestones determined jointly between the startup and the Purdue Foundry, which is located in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

The funding is part of a three-year, $2 million targeted investment program through collaboration among the Purdue Foundry, Elevate Ventures and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. In addition to the funding, the program provides two additional entrepreneurs-in-residence through the Purdue Foundry to mentor entrepreneurs.

"Raising funds is one of the most important and difficult challenges for a startup. What we are doing is providing funding and practical advice, both of which are critical to success," Deason said. "We are thankful that the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Elevate Ventures have made this seed fund available and are supporting two additional entrepreneurs-in-residence in the Purdue Foundry to provide additional guidance to startups."

The next application period for the Black Award will conclude on March 31, 2015. To apply, visit http://www.elevateventures.com/apply/epff.

For more information, entrepreneurs can contact an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Purdue Foundry or John Hanak, Purdue Foundry venture funding relations officer, at 317-616-1860, jmhanak@prf.org.

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 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 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 www.elevateventures.com.

Media Contacts:

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

Alex Bowers, 317-252-0258, abowers@elevateventures.com 

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