10 Indiana startups receive $200,000 through Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund

Published: May 19, 2015

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Ten Purdue-affiliated companies each received $20,000 in the newest round of funding of the First-Tier Black Awards from the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund, officials announced Tuesday (May 19).

"We had 23 applications for this second round of support since this fund was created last year. The selection process was highly competitive, and this caused our committee to recognize the need to remain focused on the charter of the fund – that is to provide seed funding to startups commercializing Purdue-developed intellectual property, that the startup is either owned by Purdue students or staff or based on IP patented through the Purdue Research Foundation," said Greg Deason, executive director of the Purdue Foundry. "The applications this round, just as the last round, were impressive but, given the relatively small size of the fund, awards were again limited to 10."

The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund is operated jointly by officials from the Purdue Foundry and Elevate Ventures.

As part of the collaboration, Elevate Ventures provides support for two entrepreneurs-in-residence to work in the Purdue Foundry at the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

"Indiana is rich in innovation and entrepreneurial activities, and our collaboration with the Purdue Foundry on the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund is already creating jobs and helping to further diversify our state's economy," said Chris LaMothe, Elevate Ventures CEO. "That is evident in the variety of economic sectors represented in this round including life sciences, information technology, education, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering and electrical engineering."

The companies selected to receive funding in this round of First-Tier Black Awards were chosen by a six-person Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund Investment Committee and based on the strength of company plans and teams. The startups receiving the funding are:

* BioKorf LLC, a pharmaceutical firm that creates prefabricated components so a pharmacist can assemble medical treatments into patient-specific doses. A video about the company is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEEBiK2BsLs.

* CommSense LLC, an information technology startup developing a sensor technology that could improve smartphone battery life and service by monitoring and adjusting the phone's cellular antenna to automatically run at its highest efficiency.

* Concordance Health Solutions, a firm offering products and services that include electronic reminders and monitoring technologies to improve patient medication adherence in partnership with pharmacists, other health care providers and payers.

* CPrecisely Inc., a computer technology company commercializing an innovation that allows people to read with increased visual sharpness on tablets, smartphones and laptops without wearing corrective eyewear. A video about the company is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXH1KmwHSC4.

* GeniPhys LLC, a life sciences company developing self-assembling, bioinstructive collagen materials for research and medical applications.

* Mimir LLC, a computer technology company commercializing a cloud-based classroom for computing courses that allows instructors to develop and students to complete programming projects and more conventional assignments online.

* PurSpec Technologies Inc., a biomedical engineering company developing a technology to minimize the cost and time of clinical chemical testing by creating a portable and self-sustainable analytical instrument.

* SkyePack LLC, an information technology firm commercializing a digital tool that offers an alternative to both textbooks and expensive e-readers and allows anyone to create classroom teaching materials that students can view on computers or smartphones.

* SmartGait LLC, an information technology startup that can use a smartphone to measure a person's walking gait to help prevent falls in people with compromised balance, such as the elderly or those with Parkinson's disease. A video about the Purdue University intellectual property is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLXnTx6Rb6A.

* VinSense LLC, a software company that can help improve crop management using soil sensors so producers, field managers and winemakers can manage soil moisture, pruning, irrigation, canopy management and water conservation and increase production efficiency, crop uniformity and crop sustainability.

The First-Tier Black Award is in the form of a nonrecourse convertible promissory note, and the promissory note agreements will be finalized directly with Elevate Ventures. The First-Tier Black Award also qualifies the startups to apply for a Second-Tier Gold Award that is available in amounts up to $80,000 through a convertible debt or equity investment, upon reaching pre-established milestones determined jointly between the startup and the Purdue Foundry.

The funding is part of a three-year, $2 million targeted investment program through collaboration among the Purdue Foundry, Elevate Ventures and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

The next application period for the Black Award will be announced in the summer.

For more information, entrepreneurs can contact an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Purdue Foundry or John Hanak, Purdue Foundry venture funding relations officer, at 317-616-1860, jmhanak@prf.org.

About the Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship where professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. The Purdue Foundry 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 foundry@prf.org.

About Elevate Ventures

Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. As a not-for-profit organization, Elevate Ventures is able to offer unbiased, in-depth perspective and recommendations. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, its team and its funds under management, visit www.elevateventures.com.

Media Contacts:

Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org

Alex Bowers, 317-252-0258, abowers@elevateventures.com