One Year, 55 Startups, $400M-Plus in Investments

One Year, 55 Startups, $400M-Plus in Investments

Purdue University technologies have generated 300-plus startups, helping millions of people in 100-plus countries and continuing Purdue’s commercialization ecosystem on a fast-paced upward trend to move inventions to the global market, where they can improve lives and advance the economy.

In fiscal-year 2020, two pillars of Purdue’s commercialization ecosystem, Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization and Purdue Foundry, generated record growth with the highest numbers ever reported in a single year for patent applications, issued patents, technology disclosures, licensing deals and startup creation.

During FY20, Purdue generated a record 55 startups in West Lafayette, Indiana. Of those, 22 originated from Purdue-licensed intellectual property and 33 from company-based entrepreneurs including Purdue students and alumni.

“The numbers are important, but even more important are the lives that are changed by the research of Purdue’s outstanding faculty and students as the results of this research are moved through the commercialization process and made available to people around the world,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. “There is much happening in the world today, and one of the most important contributions we can make to our society is to educate tomorrow’s leaders and involve them with the world-changing research of our faculty.”

Purdue’s FY20 ended June 30 and results include:

  • Technology disclosures – 408, compared with 360 last year.
  • Signed licenses and options – 148, compared with 136 last year.
  • Technologies licensed – 225, compared with 231 last year.
  • Startups from Purdue intellectual property – 22, compared with 17 last year.
  • Issued patents – 252, with 180 U.S. and 72 international. Last year, the figures were 141 U.S. and 68 international patents issued.
  • Total patent applications filed ­– 721, compared with 671 last year.

Click on technology commercialization data and/or Purdue-affiliated startups for a full list of each set of metrics.

Purdue is ranked third in the U.S. for startup creation in a report, compiled and reported by IPWatchdog Institute. The data used in the study was collected by AUTM over the period of 2008-18. Purdue also is ranked 13th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents for 2019 by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

Cumulative commercialization results include $400 million-plus in startup investments and funding, 400-plus jobs created and nine Purdue startups that have been acquired by international companies for $2.3 billion-plus. The research concentrations reported in the disclosures include numerous sectors in sustainability, health, space and artificial intelligence.

“I could not be more proud of Purdue’s researchers who have dedicated their lives to creating technologies to help others and our team of technology transfer professionals, who work diligently to move Purdue’s inventions from the laboratory to the public,” said Brooke Beier, vice president of the Office of Technology Commercialization. “Everyone involved in this process understands and appreciates the important work that is being done to help our global society.”

Wade Lange, vice president and chief entrepreneurial officer of the Purdue Research Foundation, said, “The Purdue commercialization ecosystem has developed into one of the most effective technology-based startup and licensing machines in the world, and these annual results reflect its success. From researchers to students to administrators to alumni and to our Greater Lafayette community partners, we are working together often and collaboratively to create and advance startups. We anticipate the next year will garner even more life-changing results.”

Resources available through the Purdue entrepreneurial ecosystem include the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, the Burton D Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, the John Martinson Entrepreneurship Center and the Anvil. Assistance for startups include mentorship, networking, marketing, and funding programs.

JUA Technologies International, a Purdue-affiliated startup that is developing solar-powered crop-drying devices, has received assistance from the Purdue Office of Technology Transfer Commercialization and Purdue Foundry. The startup was co-founded by husband-wife team of Klein Ileleji, a professor in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue, and Reiko Habuto Ileleji, a Purdue alumna who earned her Ph.D. from Purdue’s College of Education.

“I am part of the research team that developed our crop-drying innovation at Purdue, and my wife and I founded JUA in 2016 after licensing the technology through the Office of Technology Commercialization. We continue to work closely with the Purdue Foundry,” Ileleji said. “I don’t believe we would have pursued a startup without Purdue’s strong entrepreneurial assistance programs.”

JUA has received funding, including a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research Phase I grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a $50,000 match investment from Elevate Ventures through Indiana’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund. The company also received $50,000 through the Purdue Ag-celerator Fund, a research advancement initiative created in 2015 and managed through Purdue Ventures, Purdue Foundry and Purdue College of Agriculture. Purdue Moves, supports Ag-celerator fund.

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