Research Foundation News

May 17, 2016  

Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund provides $100,000 funding to five startups

INDIANAPOLIS and WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Five Purdue-affiliated startups each received $20,000 in the latest round of funding for Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund First-Tier Black Awards, officials announced Tuesday (May 17).

"The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund meets a critical need for startups, especially those in the early stage of their development," said John Hanak, Purdue Ventures managing director. "This is the fifth round of awards and, as always, the selection process was highly competitive and the decisions to invest were very difficult."

Startups receiving these investments must meet certain criteria, which include being a Purdue Foundry client, being owned by Purdue students, faculty or staff, and/or being based on intellectual property patented through the Purdue Research Foundation. Companies also are evaluated for the strength of market potential, operational viability and their leadership team. The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund is operated jointly by officials from the Purdue Foundry and Elevate Ventures.

Since its founding, the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund has invested Black Award funds totaling $720,000 to 36 startups, including this round of awardees. Another $180,000 was invested in three companies that had reached the "Gold" or "Tier Two" level of support from the fund.

"The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund is doing exactly what we had hoped when we launched the fund two years ago," said Chris LaMothe, Elevate Ventures CEO. "The importance and positive impact on economic development across Indiana is very clear. Through these funds, we have witnessed a marked increase in the licensing and commercialization of Purdue innovations."

Purdue has had record-breaking entrepreneurial activities for the past two years including the creation of 49 startups originating from Purdue patented intellectual property and another 37 startups based on Purdue "know-how."

As part of the collaboration, Elevate Ventures provides support for four entrepreneurial advisers to work in the Purdue Foundry at the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

The startups receiving the funding are:

*Amplified Sciences LLC, a life sciences company that is developing solutions for the assessment of early-stage acute kidney injury with a patented dye-based detection technology to capture and identify levels of biomarkers in patient urine samples.

*Aerial Agriculture LLC, an agriculture company that designs, builds, and pilots Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or “drones,” to collect specialized near-infrared images that depict crop health to reduce excess fertilizer and other input costs while increasing yields.

*ChopSaver, a startup producing ChopSaver, an all-natural lip care product that uses Arnica, a natural healing agent derived from a sunflower. The product is sold online, in CVS stores and other stores.

*Drug Free Therapautix (DFTx) LLC, a startup commercializing a platform that could improve neural stimulation therapy for many health issues including Alzheimer's, epilepsy, migraines, pain management, Parkinson's and nerve regeneration.

*Paperclip Fitness, a company providing a platform with fully integrated mobile and web-based apps that allow gym owners and staff to maximize personal engagement with their patrons. The mobile app that allows instant updates from the gym on class schedule, facility utilization and new opportunities to use a facility.

The Black Award investment is in the form of a nonrecourse convertible promissory note, which will be finalized directly with Elevate Ventures. 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.

The next application period for the Black Awards will be announced in the third quarter. For more information, entrepreneurs can contact an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Purdue Foundry or John Hanak, Purdue Ventures managing director, at

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

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

Media Contacts:

Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340,

Alex Bowers, 317-252-0258,   

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