Purdue Startups Receive $100K Gift

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Purdue chemistry professor David Thompson founded Jewell Laboratories. Purdue chemistry professor David Thompson founded Jewell Laboratories.
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Two startup companies based on research from Purdue University have received funding from the Emerging Innovations Fund. Jewell Laboratories LLC and SPEAK MODalities each received $50,000.

Both companies license their technology through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. They are also clients of Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub on Purdue's campus.

Jewell Laboratories has developed a family of compounds that could benefit people affected by Niemann-Pick Type C disease, which leads to a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol in the brain, liver and spleen. The company will use the funding to conduct pre-clinical and clinical studies.

Purdue says SPEAK MODalities has "commercialized technology to improve communication for children and families affected by severe, non-verbal autism." Chief Executive Officer Michael Zentner says they will use the funding to strengthen interest from third-party investors.

"The EIF investment will strengthen their ability to translate the research they initiated at Purdue into products that can extend the lifespan of children with NPC and improve the communication skills of those children with autism," said Brooke Beier, assistant director of business development at Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. "The EIF board recognized the importance of helping these two companies bridge the gap between research and commercialization and felt the investment will create a value inflection point for them to accomplish their next milestones."

Purdue says funding for the EIF comes from philanthropic, tax-deductible gifts. The fund is designed to support business ventures built on Purdue research and to bridge the gap between the formation of the businesses and third-party equity financing.

is designed specifically to support new business ventures built on Purdue discoveries or located in the five-site Purdue Research Park network. The fund is designed to bridge the gap between the enterprise formation and third-party equity financing.

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