Innovators are Simply Sharing their Impact Story when Pitching

May 13 2019

As the winners of the 1st Prize People’s Choice Award at the 2019 Ag+Bio+Science Start-Up Showcase, NutraMaize knows how to tell a story. “One of the challenges that founders face when trying to commercialize a highly technical innovation…” Evan Rocheford, CEO, stated, “is unpacking their products value proposition and repackaging it in a way where it makes sense to people who have maybe never even thought about their specialized little corner of one particular industry … and makes it compelling”


What is the best and worst part of pitching?

May 06 2019

Six different teams competed yesterday in the AG-Celerator Demo Day by giving their pitches in hopes of being awarded up to $100K. Here is how each team answered when posed the question: “What is the best and worst part of pitching to investors?”

VinSense Worst part: Not knowing the direction the contest is going to go. I’ve done several pitches but they are all different. Sometimes you think you can anticipate which questions will be asked but sometimes there are mini curve balls and it throws you off. For any contest, the goal is to answer succinctly.

Sweetwater Urban Farms Best Part: Being done with it. (Pitching) Feels like a finishing a final in college. I’ve been in business for a while so giving presentations doesn’t bother me. I can present to E-Suite audiences and high-level individuals, no problem, but pitching takes me back to the prep work required of college finals. You work and work and finally are just ready to get to the contest. You just want to be done and get back to running the businesses.

Teichos Worst Part: Preparing is labor intensive. You have to be able to accept criticism. If you have been successful in your career in the past, pitching a new idea is like you are “going back to school” to ensure people understand your technology. It is NOT about dumbing it down your technology! It is about respecting the audience and shaping the story to convey the vision on their terms and what is consumable to them. It is a real test of knowing your technology on many different levels.

Palm Energy Best Part: It’s a great way to express the business through the passions that drives you; to tell what the markets want, and what you believe the idea can be in the world. Pitching is really asking for others to join into the vision of what you have been putting your efforts, time and work into.

TEIN Worst Part: Time management is the worst part. The time and stress devoted to creating the pitch is hard because want to keep working on the business. For our team, it is hard to continue to work on school, learning the local culture, and finding a job all while taking more time to create the pitch deck. It feels like another task and it is stressful to hit the deadline. However, the process to prepare makes us communicate our different views and motivates us to work to our strengths to make the deadline.

Rogo Best Part: Sharing your story on creating value for customers and investors. Sharing your plans and what you’ve learned about the market place.


Renewing the Entrepreneur Spirit

April 22 2019

“We had forgotten how we felt the first time we used the tech and saw it actually work. So it was exciting to see others having that feeling when they used the tech,” says HaptImage Co-Founder Shruthi Suresh after their whirlwind trip last week to display their tech prototype at the AAU-APLU University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase on Capitol Hill.

Compared to interactions during past pitch competitions on campus, the Haptimage Team was surprised to not have many questions on the actual tech and more plain admiration for how it will help people with visual impairments. “It might have been that the local Purdue audience has a larger tech background so were curious about the research. At the showcase in D.C., they (audience) were fascinated with tech but more because they saw the amazing application possibilities after trying it out. (They) can feel the real world solution and the need,” says Co-Founder Ting Zhang. “It really recharged our work.”


The Business Pivot on Hiring That Led to Willeder

April 15 2019

Most stories of successful entrepreneurs start off with a eureka moment. However, in Willeder’s case firing a third co-founder was what revealed their true idea.

The co-founders, two Purdue computer science graduates, Rei Orikata and Pritesh Kadiwala, have developed a web platform to allow startups and job seekers to see a more genuine look at each other during the hiring process.

They originally started with the vision of finding a way to pair students with the perfect university through sharing experiences not just rankings. Then they met their third co-founder, and their views on hiring changed completely.


Leo Aerospace Journey: Market Validation to FAA Launch Approval

April 02 2019

A startup founded out of Purdue University has taken research from a student organization and turned it into a funded aerospace company launching rockets off balloons and into space. Dane Rudy and four other co-founders are in the seed round of funding their company, Leo Aerospace. After a whirlwind journey, starting just four years ago, the 23 and 24-year old’s successfully launched their first test flights in the Mojave Desert early this year.

The team began their journey with guidance from the Purdue Foundry, working on customer discovery and market validation. Then in 2017, they received funding from the national I-Corp program. They used this opportunity to dive deeper into understanding their customers.

Dane Rudy, CEO and Co-Founder, described what it was like to connect with potential customers on a personal level.


Curriculum Changes to Meet Client Needs

March 18 2019

Purdue Foundry has traditionally offered its keystone curriculum as two separate program offerings: Firestarter & Introduction to Customer Discovery. To keep up with demand and enhance client experience, content from both have been combined into one updated 9-week cohort session within Firestarter.

A new program offering has also been added. In addition to Firestarter, Purdue Foundry will now offer graduated Firestarter clients a series of open classroom times for devoted work on their Business Model Canvas.


Vibronix's Multi-modal intraoperative imaging tool based on ultrasound and photoacoustic tomography (PAT) that provides: High sensitivity in cancer detection & Short procedure time

Keeping your Entrepreneurship Principles Amidst Success

March 18 2019

Wiley Medical Device & Sensors recently published a research article by Vibronix Inc. For this 2014 Purdue Foundry Client, this is a business milestone success. As they point peers and clients in the direction of the article, we took time to ask how they keep their entrepreneurship roots amidst their current company success:

Q&A with Rui Li, Ph.D., VP of Operations, Vibronix Inc.


Inaugural Startup Career Fair: Hosted by the Purdue Student Entrepreneur Council at the Anvil on February 28th

Starting a Career at a Startup Company.

March 11 2019

“It takes a really good work ethic and a love for ambiguity. It’s for people who don’t want to be just another cog,” Jimmye Ahn, Director of People Operations at Crafty, explained when asked what it takes to work at a startup.

Crafty was one of the over 30 startup companies showed up to the inaugural startup career fair late February to capitalize on the draw Purdue talent has to working for startup culture rather than a more established company culture.


A new Purdue University technique to analyze proteins expressed on cancer cells shows promise in more rapidly detecting these cell types in patients.

Cancer testing method is sensitive enough to detect cancer cells in very early stages, short amount of time.

February 20 2019

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The days – or even weeks – spent waiting for the results of a cancer-screening test can feel like an eternity. Especially when early diagnosis and quick action are tied to better outcomes.

Now, a new technique to analyze proteins expressed on cancer cells shows promise in more rapidly detecting these cell types.

“Pathogen or cancer cell identification often relies on culturing a sample, which can take several days,” said Darci Trader, an assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology in Purdue University’s College of Pharmacy, who led the research team. “We have recently developed a method to screen one-bead-one-compound libraries against biological targets such as proteins or antibodies.”


believes the Purdue screening method could be developed into a rapid, sensitive technique to identify cancer cells in patient blood samples. This could expedite cancer diagnosis and lead to better patient outcomes.

The novel screening technique is featured in the Jan. 24


of ACS Combinatorial Science. “We are invested in this technology because of our passion to develop better screening techniques for a wide variety of diseases,” Trader said. “Cancer, in particular, has touched the lives of many of our friends and families, so being able to contribute to better detection methods is very special to us.”


Superfund sites, such as the Gowanus Canal in New York City, have been identified by the EPA as being polluted by highly dangerous wastes. A Purdue water and soil analysis technology may help improve cleanup and monitoring at contaminated Superfund sites a

Purdue water, soil analysis technology may help improve cleanup and monitoring at contaminated Superfund sites across the U.S.

February 20 2019

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – At least 53 million Americans, including about 18 percent of the nation’s children, live less than three miles from a Superfund site, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Congress created the Superfund program in 1980 to pay for the cleanup of sites identified by the EPA as polluted by highly dangerous wastes.

There are currently more than 1,300 such waste sites across the U.S. The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) reports that more than 80 percent of these sites and more than 3,000 similarly hazardous Department of Defense sites contain chlorinated solvents. Those solvents are chemicals that were used widely in the past in industrial cleaning and manufacturing operations and pose a significant contamination threat to groundwater supplies.

A Purdue University team, led by Joe Sinfield, an associate professor in Purdue’s Lyles School of Civil Engineering, and involving former Purdue researcher Chike Monwuba, has developed a new method to detect the presence of these hazardous solvents in water and soil. The method offers the potential to enhance monitoring operations and improve the efficiency of remediation efforts.

“Our method is accurate, quick and can detect very low concentrations of the target contaminants,” said Sinfield, who also serves as the director of Purdue’s College of Engineering Innovation and Leadership Studies Program.



General Interest