Five Purdue Foundry-affiliated startups are among the businesses from around Indiana to win funding by Elevate Ventures to spur growth.
The startups are among 16 chosen from 58 finalists that competed Feb. 25-27 in the second regional Elevate Nexus Pitch Competitions. Elevate Ventures awarded a total of $680,000 in preseed and seed funding.
The Purdue-affiliated startup winners are:
* Rabbit Tractors – autonomous farming equipment sized to better match the needs of modern agriculture.
* Gen3Bio – extract fats, sugars and proteins to produce specialty chemicals from microalgae.
* BestQuote – virtual sales technology for home improvement contractors.
* Spirrow – help for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome survive by restoring lung function with a nanopolymer surfactant that can be administered through the trachea as a fast-acting liquid or preemptive aerosol.
* Endless Eyewear – a designer eyewear subscription program.
The Purdue-affiliated startups are clients of the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Purdue’s Discovery Park District, adjacent to the Purdue campus. The $1 billion-plus Discovery Park District is a Purdue Research Foundation entity and is a transformational center of innovation.
The Purdue Foundry has been involved with creating more than 250 companies. The Purdue Foundry last year received a university initiative grant from Elevate Ventures to support its work with Indiana startups.
“These five startups demonstrate our core mission at the Purdue Foundry: to turn ideas into impact,” said Bill Arnold, managing director. “Through programs like Firestarter and the Double Down Experiment, we have the privilege of providing support to help entrepreneurs and startups make a difference across many industries.”
Jacob Schpok, executive director of university initiatives at Elevate, supports Purdue innovators through mentoring and other opportunities.
“The Purdue Foundry is recognized globally as a best practice in how higher education institutions can support student, faculty and community entrepreneurs,” Schpok said. “They have strong and innovation-driven startups coming out of their program and we at Elevate invest in Purdue-affiliated startups knowing they have the additional resources and support necessary to be successful.”
The competition was established to invest in early-stage Indiana startups with an emphasis on those taking advantage of support resources from higher education institutions in the state.
In addition to receiving funding, each company is considered an Elevate Ventures’ portfolio business and gains access to Elevate’s network of advisors and resources.
Each company also earns the opportunity to pitch during the statewide competition, where an additional $320,000 will be awarded. The statewide competition will be held virtually on May 19.