July 14, 2016

Purdue celebrates 3rd straight year of record-breaking startup, commercialization activities

Kim Won Chris Stoker, who earned an MBA and law degree from Indiana University, and Brandon Terry, a Purdue alumnus and postdoctoral research associate in Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, founded Adranos Energetics, a startup developing a high-performance, environmentally friendly solid rocket propellant. (Purdue Research Foundation photo) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University exceeded its own record-breaking startup and commercialization activities for the third consecutive year, officials announced Thursday (July 14).

For fiscal year 2016, which ended June 30, Purdue posted technology transfer increases across all categories highlighted by 27 startups originating from Purdue-licensed intellectual property. Purdue had 24 startups in fiscal year 2014 and 25 startups in fiscal year 2015. The university also had 12 startups based on "know-how" innovations for this fiscal year.

Increases in other commercialization activities compared to the previous years and filed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization and Purdue Foundry include:

  • Invention disclosures filed: 317 to 376 for a 18.6 percent increase.
  • Licensing agreements of Purdue innovations: 131 to 147 for an 12.2 percent increase.

"Another record year for startup and commercialization activities at Purdue University speaks volumes about the leadership and academic strength of this proud institution,” said Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. “As new innovations and technologies reach the marketplace, Hoosiers can be proud that Purdue, its students, faculty and staff are bringing homegrown solutions to bear in solving real-world problems. Purdue’s success will only build on Indiana’s economic momentum in a variety of industries and undoubtedly benefit all of Indiana.”

Purdue also is ranked 15th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2015, according to a new report released July 12 by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

“One might call three consecutive years of commercialization results a happy coincidence, but these steady and deliberate increases represent a purposeful desire of our outstanding faculty, staff and students to move innovations to the public through a strong entrepreneurial system to support these endeavors,” said Purdue Research Foundation President Dan Hasler. “By doing so, Purdue serves one of its most important missions in researching and developing life-changing innovations, which positively affect the lives of millions around the world.

"Elevate Ventures has been a great partner in establishing the Purdue Foundry model of startup support. We are excited about all the encouragement entrepreneurs receive from leaders like West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis and the startup-friendly community of the Greater Lafayette area. This shows in the fact that so many of our entrepreneurs choose to call West Lafayette and its surrounding area home.”

Of the 76 startups founded in the past three years, 57 are located in Indiana. Also, in the past two years, Purdue-affiliated startups have raised more than $96 million in venture funding and created 156 new positions. The funding was raised by the 24 members of the Purdue Startup Class of 2014 and the 25 members of the Purdue Startup Class of 2015. Both groups of startups licensed technologies from the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. The startups represent high-tech or life sciences research for industry sectors including engineering, industrial technology, information technology, life sciences, biomedical devices, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals and software development.

“The entrepreneurial ecosystem at Purdue and across Indiana continues to grow at lightning speed," said Greg Deason, director of innovation and entrepreneurship for Purdue Research Foundation. "Through state, national and international collaborations we are working together to move technologies and innovations to the next level, and it is working."

Brandon Terry, a Purdue alumnus and postdoctoral research associate in Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Chris Stoker, an Indiana University alumnus, co-founded Adranos Energetics LLC in fiscal year 2016 to develop a rocket-propellant technology that both enhances performance and eliminates destructive emissions.

"Traditional rocket propellant is inefficient and emits large amounts of hydrochloric acid that is harmful to the environment. While scientists have been trying to solve these problems for the past 60 years, our patent-pending formulation is the first to simultaneously increase propulsion power and eliminate hydrochloric acid." Stoker said. "We have licensed our technology from Purdue and have collaborated heavily with Purdue’s strong entrepreneurial support system to launch and grow our company."

Adranos won the Gold Division of the 29th annual Purdue Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition, receiving $30,000 in funding. The company also placed first in the University of Oregon's 25th New Venture Championship and first in the graduate division of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Global New Venture Competition, receiving $25,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Resources available for Purdue-affiliated entrepreneurs include:

  • Purdue Foundry - a business accelerator to assist Purdue faculty, staff and students create startups.
  • Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund - The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund will be operated jointly by the Purdue Foundry and Elevate Ventures and will further expedite the translation of life-changing intellectual property to commercial sectors. Qualifying startups must be Purdue Foundry clients and have gone through the startup process.
  • Foundry Investment Fund - The $12 million Foundry Investment Fund, a not-for-profit fund, seeks to join with other investors to fund companies that are based on Purdue technology or expertise in the areas of human and animal health and plant sciences. The Fund provides a match to outside investors' funds, adding critical capital for the transition from the discovery of a promising technology to founding a viable life sciences company. Returns on the investments will remain in the fund for future investments.

Other entrepreneurial resources: Trask Innovation Fund, Innovation and entrepreneurship landing page, Purdue Innovator Startup Guide, Artisan and Fabrication Lab, Purdue Startup Fund, P3 Alliance, Ag-celerator, Emerging Innovations Fund, Boilermaker Lab and the Anvil.

Purdue on Thursday also announced record totals for fundraising and research funding

About Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the United States. 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 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at innovation@prf.org.

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. 

Sources: Dan Hasler, 765-588-3475, djhasler@prf.org

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

Chris Stoker, cstoker@adranosenergetics.com 

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

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