$10M Purdue alumni fund will boost startup funding

The Purdue Startup Fund will help university entrepreneurs develop investment-worthy startups

purdue-startupPurdue entrepreneurs have another funding avenue to help create and grow their startups through the Purdue Startup Fund, a $10 million resource to be jointly funded by Purdue alumni and the Purdue Research Foundation.

“Purdue is fortunate to have an abundance of alumni and friends who are successful business leaders and entrepreneurs. Many of these individuals are already actively involved with Purdue entrepreneurs by serving as mentors and advisers,” said Purdue University President Mitch Daniels. “While we already have several funding competitions and programs to help advance our startups, the Purdue Startup Fund presents an opportunity for our alumni to become even more engaged by financially supporting the translation of Purdue innovations to the public.”

The Purdue Startup Fund is designed to increase seed capital available to investment-worthy startups; increase the generation and commercialization of intellectual property at Purdue; and support Purdue’s mission to serve the state of Indiana.

The fund will be managed by the Purdue Foundry, the university’s startup acceleration hub, and the University Development Office, which has launched a seven-year, $2.019 billion campaign called Ever True: The Campaign for Purdue University that will conclude in 2019 when Purdue celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Cash gifts of $25,000 to $2 million will be matched 1:1 up to a total of $5 million by the Purdue Research Foundation.

“Whether an entrepreneur has created a startup based on an idea or one that has licensed a patented technology from Purdue, funding is always a critical need,” said John Hanak, director of venture capital and funding resources for the Purdue Foundry. “What makes this fund unique is that it allows donors to designate gifts to support the commercialization of innovations in specific colleges or schools if they wish. We anticipate that this new fund will increase our startup activities even more.”

Purdue already is a recognized international leader in technology commercialization and startup creation. In fiscal year 2015, Purdue celebrated a second consecutive record-breaking year in startup creation with 40 new companies of which 25 were based on Purdue intellectual property, received 178 global patents, filed 317 invention disclosures and closed 241 technologies licensed.

Purdue also was ranked 16th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2014, according to a report released by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione