Research Foundation News

October 18, 2016

Purdue-based agriculture software startup places third in 2016 BioCrossroads New Venture Competition

Ebert VinSense David S. Ebert and Christian E. Butzke, two co-founders of agriculture software startup VinSense LLC, examine a sensor-created soil map of a West Coast vineyard. VinSense placed third at the 2016 BioCrossroads New Venture Competition and received $10,000 in cash prizes. (Purdue Research Foundation photo) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – VinSense LLC, a startup that licensed a Purdue University-developed software that could help grape growers and winemakers optimize quality and yields in their vineyards, placed third in the 2016 BioCrossroads New Venture Competition.

Vin-Sense was awarded third place and $10,000 in cash prizes during the 2016 Indiana Life Sciences Summit earlier this month. VinSense will use the funds to further develop and enhance its software's features.

"VinSense provides software and data visualization to help growers better manage how climate, weather, irrigation needs, soil variation and their vineyard management decisions through the growing season will impact the quality and value of their grapes," said David Ebert, the company's chief technology officer. "These can help our clients optimize their harvest decisions, fermentation techniques and blending strategies. We can help them predict, plan and get the logistics in place all based on new data, as well as their own historical data."

The BioCrossroads New Venture Competition is an early-stage business contest. The competition was open to life sciences and health information technology companies holding a substantial nexus to Indiana and a high potential for attracting additional investment capital. Out of more than 30 startups, six finalists were chosen to compete for cash prizes and three companies placed. 

VinSense was founded by Ebert, Purdue enology professor, Christian E. Butzke and USDA soil mapping expert Phillip Owens. The technology was licensed to VinSense by the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. A video about VinSense is available at

About VinSense

VinSense is an Indiana LLC formed in March 2015 to produce an innovative decision support software system for agricultural perennial crop production. The new technology enables producers, vineyard managers and winemakers to make better management decisions to minimize water and energy use while improving production yields, uniformity and quality to increase profitability and long-term sustainability.

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 U.S. 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 about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at

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

Sources: David S. Ebert, 765-412-4433,

Christian E. Butzke, 765-494-6500,

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