Construction of $86 million, 835-bed apartment complex to begin in Purdue west-side development district

January 09 2018

Construction is set to begin this month on a private $86 million, 835-bed apartment complex that is the first facility in a $1 billion development district on the west side of the Purdue University campus, Purdue Research Foundation officials and a joint venture between Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions and Walsh Investors announced today (Jan. 9).

Balfour Beatty, a leading developer and operator of infrastructure projects for the college and university market and Walsh Investors, a Chicago-based infrastructure and real estate investment firm, reports that the four-story, three-building, 387,000-square-foot complex will be located in the Discovery Park District and be called “Aspire at Discovery Park.” The development includes studio, two-bedroom

and four-bedroom apartment styles. Rental pricing of the apartments will be comparable to or lower than similar apartments in the area. The complex also has committed 18,000 square feet for community

and retail space in the facilities.

Slated to be complete by the August of 2019, the apartment complex will be located on a five-acre tract on the south side of State Street, a major east-west artery running through campus.


Schurz Communications awards funding to four Purdue student startups

January 11 2018

Schurz Communications Innovation Challenge, an incubation competition for student entrepreneurs working in online and mobile media technology, awarded funding to four Purdue University startups.

The competition provided a total of $10,500 in cash prizes to four startups. The Purdue Foundry in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the competition.

As first-prize winner, One-Man Band received $5,000. One-Man Band is a mobile application, developed by Jose Moreno, a senior in Purdue’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, which provides high-quality music backtrackings for musicians to use while practicing.

“The advantage is that any musician, from an aspiring bedroom rock star to an orchestra student practicing 20 hours a week, can become more engaged with their music and learn faster,” he said.

Moreno and his team will use the prize money to assist the first phase of their marketing campaign by purchasing targeted online advertisements and search-engine optimization.

“This was my first year attending the Schurz Communications Innovation Challenge, so it was a good learning experience in giving a more relaxed and coherent pitch,” he said. “The feedback I received from the judges and the audience will definitely help us move One-Man Band forward.”


Purdue police sergeant creates startup after designing bulletproof vest carriers aimed at versatility, comfort

January 09 2018

A Purdue University Police Department sergeant has started a business aimed at making external bulletproof vest carriers more versatile and efficient for law enforcement personnel, allowing them to carry gear more comfortably while maintaining a professional appearance.

Sgt. Travis Neal founded Focus Tactical Design in West Lafayette, Indiana, because he wanted police officers to have more options on how they carry equipment such as handcuffs, flashlights or rifle magazines. The vest carrier is designed to wear outside a uniform, allowing law enforcement officers to take some of the weight off their belts to reduce hip and back pain and decrease the likelihood of chronic injuries.

“The idea is to make it more comfortable to wear during shifts that can last 12 hours or longer,” Neal said.

Neal, who also is a SWAT team member, said he designed the carrier with Joan Goetz, a laboratory technician in the Department of Consumer Science in the College of Health and Human Services at Purdue. The carrier was designed so an officer can have a front panel for everyday work that can be quickly removed and replaced by another for more high-risk situations, such as when there is an active shooter situation and medical supplies or extra ammunition are needed. Neal said the carrier eliminates the need for a “go bag.”

The carrier also allows an officer to have an everyday setup that is similar to what he wears during tactical assignments.

“I wanted to marry the way I carried my equipment for the SWAT team and the way I carried my equipment for patrol. When I was looking at some of the vest covers that are out there, I could not find what I was looking for,” he said. “I also wanted to make it affordable.”


Eight Purdue startups receive total investment of $160,000 from Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund

December 21 2017

Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund officials announced Thursday (Dec. 21) that it has awarded $20,000 in investment funding to each of eight Purdue-affiliated startups.

“As we enter the fourth year of the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund, we are able to see how the recipient companies have performed over time. It is clear that these companies are well beyond normal growth and advancement of most companies in the early years of a startup’s life,” said John Hanak, Purdue Ventures managing director. “Like past awardees of the fund, each of the early-stage startups in this round has demonstrated strong potential for high-growth within the Purdue entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Since the program’s creation in 2014, 60 Purdue-affiliated startups have received a total of $1.94 million in investment funding. In addition, the funding gives each of the startups a “Black Award” status, making the companies eligible for a “Gold Award” after attaining pre-determined milestones. The first-tier Black Award provides up to $20,000 to recipients and qualifies them for the second-tier Gold Award offering up to $80,000 to its winners.


Purdue communication, education startup joins Project Literacy Lab to advance literacy skills for children across the globe

December 21 2017

SPEAK MODalities, a Purdue startup helping children diagnosed with minimally verbal autism advance their communication and reading skills, has joined Project Literacy Lab, an international entrepreneurial accelerator created to close the global literacy gap by 2030.

Project Literacy, a program co-foundered by education and publishing company Pearson, assists startups identified as successfully helping children and young adults who need assistance in improving their reading and comprehension skills.

SPEAK MODalities developed SPEAKall!, a mobile application that assists with natural language development for children using a platform that constructs and reads aloud the sentences constructed by the users.

“Through this program, we will receive ongoing mentorship from senior executives at Pearson and others that will help companies like ours to amplify growth,” said Mike Zentner, CEO of SPEAK MODalities. “We hope to effectively expand the reach of our existing products to more people.”


Expert offers tips on computer systems reliability, security

December 20 2017

A computer systems researcher who earned his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from Purdue University is available to talk about solutions for improving reliability and security of computer systems, especially when it comes to the Internet of Things and cloud.

Vinai Sundaram is the CEO and co-founder of SensorHound Inc., a startup that uses intellectual property licensed from Purdue to provide software solutions to monitor operational health and detect malicious intrusions in

Internet of Things (IoT) devices involving smart grids, smart homes and

smart manufacturing.

“Security breaches and software failures can be extremely costly in both time and money as well as in terms of safety,” Sundaram said. “Cybercriminals are constantly looking to attack vulnerabilities. The good news is that there are ways people and businesses can protect their information.”


Spensa Technologies adds precision ag industry veterans to team

December 20 2017

Spensa Technologies Inc., a precision agriculture technology company, announces that two industry veterans have joined the company’s sales and business development team.

Dave Swain will serve as area sales director and Chad Greenlee as regional sales manager. Both will join the ag tech company to help speed innovation of its precision pest management technology and serve customers in the retail distribution and professional consultants segment.

“We are excited to welcome both of these experienced precision ag veterans to the Spensa team,” said Johnny Park, CEO of Spensa. “Both will bring industry knowledge and experience to ensure


products are well positioned to serve the trusted adviser. They also will help us develop technologies that are meaningful in meeting the needs of retailers and consultants as they advise producers on their pest management needs.”


Purdue discovery clears way for human body to work as robust communication network for electronic devices

December 13 2017

A group of Purdue University researchers have

discovered a new way in using the human body as a robust communication medium for networking electronic devices in and on the body that promises to be far more secure and low-energy than any wireless system.

Shreyas Sen, an assistant professor in the Purdue School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said this advancement allows devices to communicate through the body instead of sending a signal through the airwaves that could be hacked. The technology has several pending patent applications through the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization.

“We can achieve secure connectivity within devices in or on the body and even among devices on different humans and machines, at orders of magnitude lower-energy than wireless,” Sen said. “The applications are fascinating.”


Purdue graduate course prepares researchers and faculty for entrepreneurial success using 14 factors

December 13 2017

Purdue University will offer “Life of a Faculty Entrepreneur: Discovery, Development and Translation,” a course that presents essential information regarding research commercialization and entrepreneurial processes for faculty, graduate students and researchers in spring 2018.

Nathalie Duval-Couetil, an associate professor of technology leadership and innovation, and Michael Ladisch, a distinguished professor of agricultural and biological engineering with a joint appointment in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, will teach the three-credit-hour course from 5:30-8:20 p.m. on Thursdays.

“Instead of offering a class focused entirely on entrepreneurship and business concepts, we want to offer a course targeting the researchers’ perspectives and priorities,” Duval-Couetil said. “The goal is to empower graduate students and faculty to make more informed decisions as they consider moving their technology out of the lab and into the

market place



Tips to keep opened wine fresh during holidays

December 12 2017

A Purdue University chemical engineering graduate is available to talk about methods of keeping opened wine bottles from going stale during the holiday season including replicating what wineries do when bottling wine to keep it fresh.

Ryan Frederickson, founder of ArT Wine Preservation, can provide tips about the various methods of preventing opened wine bottles from going stale because of oxygenation.