Research Foundation News

October 5, 2016

Purdue announces largest ever startup class based on university innovations

Park_LiteracyLabels Nancy Rasche, a clinical assistant professor in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and founder of Purdue-affiliated startup Experience Design Group, shows the company's first app, Literacy Labels. The app was developed to help children with autism read, understand and spell words in a more customized, engaging and rewarding way by either using QR codes and printable labels or moving through virtual rooms on an iPad. (Purdue Research Foundation image) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Research Foundation officials on Wednesday (Oct. 5) announced the 27 startups based on Purdue University patented innovations that comprise the "Purdue Startup Class of 2016." This year's class exceeded the number of startups from all previous years, contributing to Purdue's third straight year of record-breaking startup and commercialization activities.

By comparison, Purdue had 24 startups in fiscal year 2014 and 25 startups in fiscal year 2015 for a total of 76 new companies over the three-year span. The startups have brought more than $96 million in venture funding and created 156 new positions over the past two years.

"These startups really are a testament to outstanding innovators at Purdue University who are developing innovations and, in many cases, moving those innovations to the public or licensing them to entrepreneurs who are commercializing the patented technologies," said Dan Hasler, president of Purdue Research Foundation. "What's amazing is that this number does not include the startups based on Purdue know-how or student-owned innovations. There are 11 more startups based on new technologies that are faculty, staff or student-owned innovations."

The startups include innovations from new solid rocket propellant to law enforcement visual analytics programs, assistive technologies, food safety, and games and fitness apps.

Nancy Rasche, a clinical assistant professor in Purdue's Polytechnic Institute, co-founded Experience Design Group LLC in fiscal year 2016 to develop educational mobile applications designed as instructional tools to help people with special needs learn new or difficult skills.

"Children with autism tend to be very good at decoding words, but a lot of the time they don't fully understand the content. These children really need literal teaching so they can develop a better overall understanding and make the connection between the written word and the actual object," Rasche said. "I developed Literacy Labels through my company to help meet this need. The app allows users to create and print labels, which stick on certain objects in their environment. When a child scans the QR code on the label, the app will say the word they just scanned and spell it out and allow the child to do so as well."

The husband-and-wife team of Klein Ileleji, an associate professor in Purdue's School of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and Reiko Habuto Ileleji, a Purdue alumna who earned her Ph.D. from the College of Education, co-founded the startup JUA Technologies International LLC. The company commercialized a solar-powered crop-drying device to prevent post-harvest losses for smallholders and small-medium agro-processors.

"Crops harvested in their fresh state tend to have a lot of moisture, which doesn't permit long-term storage, so drying is the first step taken to preserve crop quality and prolong shelf life. Our dryer is an affordable, energy-efficient option for smallholders in developing countries, a way to prevent great losses in quantity and quality of crops due to inadequate drying," Klein said. “All of the opportunities that have been available to me at Purdue, including my mentors, really allowed me to think about my ideas globally and gave me the confidence to create a startup and commercialize my technology."

Purdue's Office of Technology Commercialization had 147 licensing deals of Purdue intellectual property with startups and established companies, for an increase of more than 12 percent over the prior year.

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

Unless noted otherwise, startups listed below are located in the Greater Lafayette area. Videos or websites about the startups can be viewed by clicking their names. The startups for FY16 are:

* Adam Weaver, who has developed The Weave Design, a geometric configuration that could provide a more effective way to efficiently deliver coolant to turbine blades in gas turbine engines.

* Adranos Energetics LLC, an aerospace engineering startup developing a new rocket fuel formulation that could make rockets travel farther, carry greater payload and be safer for the environment.

* Amplified Sciences LLC, a medical technology company developing tools and products to allow for earlier intervention of kidney disease.

* Davista Technologies LLC, an information technology company developing visual analytics products that enables companies to make better decisions from large, disparate and complex data sets.

* Didactictron Inc, a robotics company developing a six-axis, open-source controller and teaching pendant for technology college students to gain experience.

* Experience Design Group LLC, a software company developing applications that could help children with autism better read, understand and spell words.

* Expimetrics Inc, a software company offering a web- and app-based platform that could capture more detailed insights on conventional marketing tools.

* Greater Innovations LLC, a company commercializing an innovation that could develop dried distillers grain solids into a low-cost, higher quality option for animal feeds or biodegradable option for fertilizers.

* Grissom Controls LLC, a Virginia-based software company developing a program that could allow commercial building owners and occupants to cut utility costs by optimizing heating and cooling.

* Houston Mechatronics Inc, a Houston-based robotics company developing technologies related to intelligent automation.

* Humotus LLC, a technology company developing software applications to allow clinicians a better way to capture human movement data.

* J and H Consulting LLC, an agricultural software company developing tools that help farmers and agribusiness improve crop yield forecasting, nutrient management and environmental protection.

* JUA Technologies International LLC, an agricultural technology company developing a solar powered crop-drying device for smallholders in developing countries and small organic farms in the United States.

Illeji_Jua Husband-and-wife team Klein and Reiko Illeji, pose near a solar-powered crop drying device that could reduce post-harvest losses and add value to smallholders in developing countries. The device utilizes high temperatures, high air-flow rate and low humidity features to better dry crops. Klein and Reiko founded JUA Technologies International LLC to further develop and commercialize the technology. (Purdue Research Foundation image) Download image

* Lodos Theranostics LLC, a life sciences company developing nanoparticle ultraviolet radiation technology for cancer patients.

Maji Safi International LLC, a company working on solutions to provide clean and safe drinking water to schools and communities in developing countries around the world.

* MedNoxa LLC, an Austin, Texas-based life sciences company providing novel, over-the-counter oxygen-based bandages for ulcers or wounds of diabetic patients.

* Monojul LLC, an Illinois-based life sciences company developing cancer treatment technologies.

* Penguin Innovations Inc, a pharmaceutical technology company creating a certified virtual pharmacy clean room laboratory for students and professionals to gain hands-on experience.

* PharmaPrinter LLC, a pharmaceutical technology company developing a portable inkjet printer to produce precise, personalized medication.

* Phicrobe LLC, a life sciences company whose technology could provide a rapid, simple and inexpensive test for the detection of E. coli.

* Resarci Therapeutics LLC, a life sciences company developing late-stage prostate cancer therapies.

* Scientific Ceramic Engineering Inc, a Virginia-based engineering company developing ceramic injection molding technologies.

* Simplexity Simulations LLC, a software company developing a molecular modeling simulation software to help predict the crystal structure of a drug in the pharmaceutical industry.

* Software Bug Localization Inc, an Illinois-based company developing unique algorithms to improve the accuracy of locating bugs in software.

* STEMinent LLC, a Lafayette, Indiana, and Ohio-based company developing more valid, consistent and unbiased educational assessment online tools.

* Sustainable Rainforest Solutions LLC, a North Carolina-based educational technology company developing informational and interactive applications on biodiversity in tropical regions.

* Virtualis LLC, a virtual reality technology company developing innovations that could allow better virtual reality experiences for users and original virtual reality and game-oriented experiences.

Several other promising startups launched by students and not counted in the list include Nuggit Games, a startup creating and selling specialized gaming accessories such as boxes, for popular board games; OWL LLC, a startup developing a smartphone app and fitness-tracking device aimed at encouraging children to be more physically active; Boce LLC, a startup developing an extension for existing action camera mounts that simplifies and speeds up adjusting a camera's direction; Aerial Agriculture LLC, a startup building drones in-house to capture multispectral images of entire crop fields to allow farmers to reduce excess fertilizer and input costs and increase yields; and MBAville, a startup developing a gamified program that teaches business concepts in an immersive, fantasy environment.

"We've had another great year for startups and hope to keep this momentum going for years to come," Hasler said. "More than just creating startups, we want each startup to succeed and make a difference in the global economy, so we're excited to see these startups grow and continue to innovate."

Purdue is dedicated to fostering an entrepreneurial environment to help develop a culture of innovation and commercialization. Many programs are offered at Purdue to achieve this. Those include the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship to help Purdue faculty, staff and students commercialize their innovations; the Anvil, a student-run startup incubation center for students and the West Lafayette community; Purdue Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program that teaches students about entrepreneurship and provides a certification for those completing the program; Artisan Fabrication Lab, where prototypes can be built; and Purdue Research Park, which is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country.

Additional entrepreneurial resources include the express license to expedite the technology transfer process, the $12 million Foundry Investment Fund, the Deliberate Innovation for Faculty program and the Purdue Innovator Startup Guide. For more information about all the resources available for innovators, visit Purdue Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation 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

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Hillary Henry, 765-588-3586,

Sources:   Dan Hasler, 765-588-3475,

Nancy Rasche,

Klein Ileleji,

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