Research Foundation News

December 5, 2016

Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund announces awards totaling more than $1 million to Purdue startups

INDIANAPOLIS and WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund officials announce today (Dec. 5) that the program has now awarded $1.06 million to 44 Purdue-affiliated startups since the program's creation in 2014.

The additional $160,000 awarded to eight startups today, brings a total of $880,000 to 44 startups as First-Tier Black Awards in the amounts of $20,000 each. The fund also has provided another $180,000 to three companies that reached the "Gold" or "Tier Two" level of support from the fund.

The funding is used by entrepreneurs to advance their startups and innovations through various commercialization activities including market research, product development and prototype creation. The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund is operated jointly by officials from the Purdue Foundry and Elevate Ventures.

"We can't emphasize enough how much this funding helps entrepreneurs commercialize Purdue innovations," said John Hanak, Purdue Ventures managing director. "Now that we are closing on the second year of the program, we are able to witness the advances of the companies that received funding from the program and we will no doubt see the same future success with this list of awardees."

Criteria to receive funding 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.

"We are excited about the entrepreneurial community-building momentum at Purdue," said Chris LaMothe, Elevate Ventures CEO. " These Purdue-affiliated startups are now part of 200 companies financially supported through our pre-seed, seed and early-stage investment and co-investment programs since 2010, which together have also attracted nearly $300 million in capital from other sources."

In the last three years Purdue startups have raised more than $96 million in venture funding and created nearly 160 positions. Purdue also has had record-breaking entrepreneurial activities in the same time period including the creation of 76 startups originating from Purdue patented intellectual property and another 49 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 in Purdue University's Discovery Park.

The startups receiving the funding are:

Bionode LLC, a biomedical company that shows promise in developing a minimally invasive therapy to help people with glaucoma through improved control of intra-ocular pressure using a customized contact-lens platform.

* Brightlamp LLC, a high-tech company developing a produce called Collide, which is a mobile application capable of rapid diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury. 

* Expimetrics Inc., a high-tech startup developing a web and app-based platform that could capture more detailed insights on conventional survey tools used to measure how people respond to new products, environments and services.

* Jua Technologies International LLC, an agricultural company developing solutions to prevent post-harvest losses for smallholders and small to medium agro-processors in developing countries, and small organic farms in the United States.

* Penguin Innovations Inc., a high-tech company developing a virtual-reality based software called Virtual Interactive Cleanroom Lab. The software enables pharmaceutical students to study sterile compounding through a web browser.

* PharmaPrinter LLC, a life sciences startup commercializing a portable inkjet printer to produce precise, personalized medication dosages faster than traditional methods, which could improve overall drug effectiveness and decrease patient side effects.

Simplexity Simulations LLC, a life sciences startup developing an Effective Fragment Potential method to be used in predicting the crystal structures and properties of drugs and other material for improved research and development in the pharma industry.

* tangerineX LLC, a high-tech company developing user interfaces that "touch" back to enhance enjoyment and performance of virtual and augmented reality for the gaming industry.

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 round of black award submissions will be accepted in early 2017. For more information, entrepreneurs can contact an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Purdue Foundry or John Hanak, Purdue Ventures managing director, at jmhanak@prf.org.

About the Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator 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 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.

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. 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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