Research Foundation News

April 19, 2018

Explore Interactive, a Purdue-affiliated startup, wins edupitch competition for innovative education solutions

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University-affiliated startup that created a platform that allows children to have fun while learning by using augmented reality via mobile devices won first prize in a competition looking for innovative education solutions.

Explore Interactive won the edupitch competition sponsored by SDI Innovations, the Purdue Foundry and Discovery Park at Purdue, beating out nine other finalists in a competition held at the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. A total of 57 teams submitted one-page summaries of their products or business ideas to the competition.

Explore Interactive won $4,500 and a startup package from Gutwein Law, based in Lafeyette, as well as services from Heath CPA and Associates of Lafayette. Explore Interactive's first product, due out in June, uses augmented reality technology to help children learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We were thrilled to win the edupitch competition and to have the opportunity to build a relationship with SDI Innovations.  The funding will be used to produce and package our first STEM augmented reality game set, "What is Energy" to meet pre-order demand and targeted summer sales,”  Explore Interactive CEO Amanda Thompson said.

Codelicious, which seeks to help children how to think about and speak the language of technology, placed second and won $3,000, a technical review session from DelMar Software Development and an annual subscription to LOOK.

Deaf Kids Outreach, which offers educational tutorials in American Sign Language to the deaf community, took third place, earning $1,500 and annual memberships to the Purdue Railyard and MatchBOX, co-working spaces.

HaptImage, a startup created by Purdue graduate students that assists people who are visually impaired by providing instantaneous tactile responses, won $1,000 and an annual membership to the Purdue Railyard for being voted as giving the best presentation by those attending the event.

The competition featured five teams from Lafayette or West Lafayette: Classmate, Deaf Kids Outreach, HaptImage, NursePass and Explore Interactive. Kepler, Codelicious, Scribfolio, and PropelUp are from the Indianapolis area. Mindtech is based in South Bend.

Nearly $20,000 in cash and gift-in-kind prizes were awarded during Saturday's competition.

The event also was sponsored by Mimir, The National Group, Paradigm Health and Wellness, DelMar Software Development, MatchBOX, the Purdue Railyard, Heath CPA and Associates, and LOOK.

About SDI Innovations

SDI Innovations is the parent company of School Datebooks, Ag Printers, Eventlink and other brands. In the 33 years since its founding, SDI Innovations has grown into a leading company across several markets, with products in 12,000 schools across the United States and 21 other countries.

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator 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 was co-named a top recipient at the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation and Awards Program by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities 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: Tom Coyne, 765-588-1044, 

  Ty Martorano, 

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