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Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund Makes $160,000 in ‘Gold Award’ Investment in 2 Startups

January 11, 2017

Two Purdue-affiliated startups have attained “Second-Tier Gold Award” status and will each receive $80,000 in funding to advance their startups.

Adranos Energetics LLC, a rocket fuel startup, and GeniPhys LLC, a life sciences company, are the recipients of the funding, which is administered as convertible debt or equity investment. Both companies previously received $20,000 each through the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund as part of the “First-Tier Black Awards,” making them eligible for the next tier of funding once certain startup milestones were met.

“Adranos and GeniPhys both have made great progress during the critical early years of their company development,” said Chris LaMothe, Elevate Ventures CEO. “We look forward to continuing engagement with promising companies like them at the Purdue Foundry through advisory and investment consideration by our other investment funds to support their growth.”

Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund provides funding for Purdue-affiliated startups with pre-seed, seed and early-stage investment and co-investment programs. Diligence reviews for the startups are conducted under the oversight of Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund Investment Committee by teams composed of competitively selected graduate students and seniors mainly from the Krannert School of Managementin collaboration with Purdue Research Foundation professionals.

“The Student Managed Venture Fund is an experiential learning course that enables students to conduct business research on real-world startups,” said Richard Cosier, the Leeds Professor and Dean Emeritus of the Krannert School of Management who teaches the course. “Students work with Purdue innovators and entrepreneurs who have submitted a proposal for second-tier funding and make investment recommendations to the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund Committee.”

The course is offered through a collaboration among Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Krannert School of Management and the Purdue Research Foundation.

With the additional funding announced today, Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund has now awarded $1.22 million to 44 Purdue-affiliated startups since the program’s creation in 2014.

“The momentum continues to build for entrepreneurial enterprises coming out of Purdue University innovations,” said John Hanak, Purdue Ventures managing director. “We are pleased with the ongoing success of all the startups that have received support through the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund and the strong promise of future success in the companies have demonstrated in their respective fields.”

Adranos’ co-founders Chris Stoker, an Indiana University alumnus, and Brandon Terry, a Purdue postdoctoral research associate rocket fuel innovation, serve the aviation and aerospace industries through the development of an innovative solid rocket fuel that could minimize HCI aerosol formation and increase total propulsion helping make rockets used in military and space applications travel farther, carry greater payloads and be environmentally.

GeniPhys’ founder Sherry Harbin, professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering, is developing self-assembling, bioinstructive collagen materials for research and medical applications and is already selling products for research and medical applications.

The funding is used by entrepreneurs to advance their startups and innovations through various commercialization activities including market research, product development and prototype creation. The companies receiving funds are part are part of about 200 Indiana-based companies financially supported through Elevate Ventures since 2010, which together have also attracted nearly $300 million in capital from other sources.

The Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund is operated jointly by officials from the Purdue Foundry and Elevate Ventures. Criteria to receive funding include being a Purdue Foundry client; being owned by Purdue students, faculty or staff; and/or being based on intellectual property patented through the Purdue Research Foundation. Companies also are evaluated for the strength of market potential, operational viability and their leadership team.

In the last three years Purdue startups have raised more than $96 million in venture funding and created nearly 160 positions. Purdue also has had record-breaking entrepreneurial activities in the same time period, including the creation of 76 startups originating from Purdue-patented intellectual property and another 49 startups based on Purdue “know-how.”

As part of the collaboration, Elevate Ventures provides support for four entrepreneurial advisers to work in the Purdue Foundry at the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Purdue University’s Discovery Park. The funding is part of a three-year, $2 million targeted investment program through collaboration among the Purdue Foundry, Elevate Ventures and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

The next round of black award submissions will be accepted early this year. For more information, entrepreneurs can contact an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Purdue Foundry or John Hanak, Purdue Ventures managing director, at

About the Purdue Foundry
The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator in Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship where professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. The Purdue Foundry is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at

About Elevate Ventures
Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, its team and its funds under management, visit


Alex Bowers
t: 317-975-1901
f: 317-252-0255


Elevate Ventures nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. To learn more about its team and funds under management, visit