Research Foundation News

September 27, 2018

Purdue-affiliated Explore Interactive joins 1871 Fall WiSTEM Cohort, supporting a $3 trillion economic boon

Amanda Thompson Amanda Thompson
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Women-led companies drive $3 trillion in economic impact and 23 million jobs in the economy, according to the Huffington Post, and Explore Interactive will contribute by participating in the 1871 Fall WiSTEM Cohort.

Explore Interactive, led by Amanda Thompson, chief executive officer of Explore Interactive and Purdue Krannert School of Management alumna, was accepted into the highly selective entrepreneurial accelerator helping women-led businesses connect with vital entrepreneurial resources.

“I am looking forward to the mentoring from the WiSTEM leaders and network as well as learning alongside the next generation of women making a different through entrepreneurship and innovation,” Thompson said. “We will be launching online sales this winter for our first product — an ideal STEM stocking stuffer.”

Purdue-affiliated Explore Interactive provides gamified lessons in science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts using an augmented reality infused platform and corresponding card deck. Students from all backgrounds learn important STEM concepts without realizing they are being taught.

Since Thompson joined Explore Interactive in 2018, the startup has built and tested its prototype, Explore! Sneak Peek, a first-look access to cutting edge augmented reality app that will be available to be early adopters in October. The startup also plans to expand content from now through the holiday season.

“We are working toward our first fundraising round and are looking for as many connections as we can make with the 1871 network,” Thompson said. “We hope to receive advice on our fundraising, partnerships and testing efforts.”

The 1871 Fall WiSTEM Cohort is a 12-week entrepreneurial accelerator program helping 10 women entrepreneurs expand their commercial network. The program will be led by Nicole Yeary, founder of Ms. Tech, and Rebecca Sholiton, co-founder and chief executive officer Wise Apple.

Explore Interactive aligns with Purdue's "giant leaps" celebrating the university’s global advancements made in health, space, artificial intelligence and sustainability highlights as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. Those are the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.

To date, Explore Interactive has raised $105,000 in entrepreneurial resources. The startup also receives support and guidance from the Purdue Foundry, a commercialization accelerator in Purdue University’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

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

About the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

The Burton D. Morgan Center is the gateway for innovation and entrepreneurship on campus.  It houses a number of programs and competitions for student and faculty entrepreneurs.  The Purdue Foundry, launched in 2013 by the Purdue Research Foundation to enhance the university’s robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, is housed here, along with Purdue Ventures, which provides and fosters meaningful access to capital and talent for Purdue entrepreneurs, and the Certificate for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

Writer: Kelsey Henry, 765-588-3342,

Purdue Research Foundation Contact: Tom Coyne, 765-558-1044,

Source: Amanda Thompson,

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