Research Foundation News

March 30, 2022

Purdue Foundry invests $75,000 in three high-tech, Purdue-related startups

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Three Indiana-based, high-tech startup companies with connections to Purdue University each received $25,000 at the conclusion of Purdue Foundry's Boost accelerator.

Seven companies took part in the program and received a $5,000 non-dilutive grant at the start. The companies participated in several weeks of programming, including consultations with entrepreneurs-in-residence, mentors and industry professionals. They concluded with business pitches to a panel of venture capitalists and angel investors; if two panelists decided a team was worthy of investment, Purdue Foundry invested $25,000.

The companies that received the investments are:

  • Araqev from West Lafayette; Arman Sabbaghi, CEO. Araqev advances the capabilities of additive manufacturing by leveraging machine learning to improve accuracy and quality while reducing waste.
  • Pluto Aerospace from West Lafayette; Christopher Nilsen, CEO. Pluto Aerospace is developing rapid and economical launch vehicle platforms for hypersonic and other suborbital applications.
  • ReproHealth Technologies from Indianapolis; James Donahue, CEO. ReproHealth is improving the efficacy of bovine reproductive technology, enabling farmers to save time and money while growing their herd.

Bill Arnold, managing director of the Purdue Foundry, said the long-term value of the Boost program goes beyond the $25,000 investment.

"All seven companies tested their business model, developed a customer acquisition strategy, created a repeatable sales model, refined unit economics and financials, designed a defensible IP strategy, strategized on building a winning team and developed equity strategy," Arnold said. "The work these entrepreneurs put into their companies has made them more investment-ready, and not just for the Boost program."

What they said

James Donahue, ReproHealth Technologies: "Many thanks to the Purdue Foundry's Boost program for helping our company become 'investible' in a few short months. We learned from experts in all phases of startup development, EIRs and our fellow Boost program participants. This program is the start of a long and fruitful relationship."

Christopher Nilsen, Pluto Aerospace: "Boost plugged us in with the Indiana entrepreneurial community. The connections we made through Boost played a major part in our recent success. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this fantastic program."

Arman Sabbaghi, Araqev: "Participating in this program was game-changing for us. We learned a wide variety of important skills and concepts for effective entrepreneurship and consistently received constructive feedback and advice for improving our company.

"The team at Araqev eagerly looks forward to building on our new, solid foundation created as a result of the Boost program and taking the next giant leaps to move our company forward."

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. The Purdue Foundry is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org

Writer: Steve Martin, sgmartin@prf.org

Sources: Bill Arnold, waarnold@prf.org

James Donahue, jdonahue@reprohealthtech.com

Christopher Nilsen, christopher@plutoaerospace.com

Arman Sabbaghi, sabbaghi@araqev.com


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