Black & Gold Awards

Biannual Pitch Compettition for PUrdue Startups to Gain intial investment

Calling all Purdue startups!

The Black & Gold Awards are a biannual pitch competition for Purdue startups to gain initial investment.

  • Black Awards are a $30K equity investment and up to 10 are awarded each year
  • Gold Awards are a $100K equity investment and up to 5 are awarded each year

This competition is industry-agnostic so all Purdue startups across life sciences, agricultural, deep-tech, software, and beyond are encouraged to apply.

Applications are due April 2 and pitches are the week of April 17.

In addition to early investment, each winning startup will receive extra support from the Startup Foundry, starting May 1.

This competition is intended for new Purdue startups to receive initial investment. Startups must have a company in order to receive the investment. Established startups (who have raised more than $500K in dilutive capital) and previous winners of the historical Black & Gold awards (Elevate Purdue Startup Foundry Fund) from 2014-2019 are not eligible.

Startups may apply for both awards. If this is the case, they’ll be considered for Gold first and if they aren’t chosen as a semi-finalist, they’ll then be considered for Black.

Pitch Format:
  • Startups are encouraged to cover a standard 10-slide pitch deck, but there isn’t a strict slide format required
  • Black Awards: 10 min for pitch + Q&A (recommended 5 min pitch + 5 min for Q&A)
  • Gold Awards: 15 min for pitch + Q&A (recommended 8 min pitch + 7 min Q&A)

Here are examples of strong applicants:

Black: Any startup can apply, but the ideal candidate profile is a startup that has:

  • Strong team
  • Completed customer discovery
  • A mock / prototype of what their MVP (Minimum Viable Product) will look like
  • [if Purdue IP] must have an option to their technology

Startups must have received first-money-in to apply (ex: previous Black Award, Nexus pre-seed winner, etc), but the ideal candidate profile is a startup that meets the Black Award profile plus:

  • Early indications of revenue [not applicable for life sciences]
  • Full-time staff
  • Strong go-to-market strategy
  • [if Purdue IP] must have a license to their technology

Investment Terms: 

Purdue Innovates Black & Gold pitch competition investments are convertible notes with a 20% discount to your next round, 8% interest, and a 3-year maturity. The notes will carry a valuation cap equal to the lesser of $10M or the lowest valuation in subsequent financing rounds. These terms are not negotiable. Companies are only considered winners once a term sheet is accepted.