The fund is a joint venture between the Purdue Foundry, a Purdue-based startup accelerator, and Elevate Ventures, a private venture development organization that supports the development and success of entrepreneurs across Indiana.
The fund’s officials announced that Novosteo, which is developing a targeted drug combination that once injected into a patient could speed up and improve bone fracture healing, was selected for a “Gold Award” investment of $80,000 from the fund.
Six other startups were selected to receive tier-one “Black Award” investments of $20,000 each. They are Spirrow Therapeutics, Predictive Wear, Wave Therapeutics Inc., Karyosoft LLC, Perceive Inc.and Plan Bee. Selection for Black Award status also makes the startups eligible for further investment once they hit certain predetermined milestones.
“We had an outstanding group of applicants from a wide-range of interests, as demonstrated by the startups that were selected,” said John Hanak, Purdue Ventures managing director. “This is the fifth year we have awarded funds to startups through the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund, and during that time we have witnessed tremendous growth for the entrepreneurs growing these startups.”
The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund provides money for Purdue-affiliated startups with pre-seed, seed and early-stage investment and co-investment programs. Since the program’s beginning in 2014, the fund has committed to invest $2.66 million in 72 companies.
The funding also gives the startups a “Black Award Status,” making the companies eligible for a “Gold Award” investments in the future. Novosteo had been selected previously for a Black Award investment.
Previous winning entrepreneurs have used the funding for commercialization activities, such as market research, product development and prototype creation.
Black Award recipients fit the following criteria: Purdue Foundry clients; hold intellectual property patented through the Purdue Research Foundation and/or companies owned by Purdue students, faculty or staff. Other considerations include market potential, operational viability and leadership.
The Black Award offers funding through a nonrecourse convertible promissory note finalized directly with Elevate Ventures.
“The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund continues to be a strong economic contributor for the state of Indiana by connecting entrepreneurs with growth-stimulating capital,” said Chris LaMothe, Elevate Ventures CEO. “We are very pleased with our partnership with Purdue University and its compelling impact on innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The Purdue ecosystem has spawned more than 200 startups, generated more than 300 jobs and brought nearly $350 million in funding and investments in startups during the past five years.
Novosteo was the sole selection in the Gold Award category. It was co-founded by father and son team Philip Low, the Purdue Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and Stewart Low, a postdoctoral staff member in Purdue’s Department of Chemistry. A video about Novosteo is available here.
Information on the six Black Award recipients:
- Spirrow Therapeutics is developing a novel treatment for a life-threatening lung condition known as acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, which deactivates the naturally occurring lung surfactant in patients. There are about 220,000 cases in the United States a year. ARDS can be caused by pneumonia, septic shock, trauma, inhaling chemicals or other trauma. About 40 percent of people with ARDS die.
- Predictive Wear is developing compression socks with sensors that alert physicians to blood clots in a person’s legs, otherwise known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 300,000 to 900,000 DVT cases annually in the United States, with half those patients developing long-term complications. But DVT is preventable, and Predictive Wear is working on technology to aid in early detection.
- Wave Therapeutics is developing an affordable cushion to help people with debilitating bedsores and other problems encountered by those who have impaired mobility because of health. The cushion uses alternating pressure and sequential compression to help heal compressed tissues and assist return blood flow to the heart and lungs.
- Karyosoft is developing an intelligent software platform aimed at helping biologists to use microbes, the microscopic organisms that live in, on and around humans, plants, animals and more to cure diseases, improve crops and make livestock healthier.
- Perceive is developing software to help high-end retail stores improve customer service through automated coaching of sales associates.
- Plan Bee is developing an autonomous pollination device allowing growers to have more control over their crop by having the ability to work through the night, wind and cold temperatures.