Rocket Fuel Startup Nears Finish Line in Army Competition

Posted: Updated:
Adranos co-founder Chris Stoker (left) and Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics, and technology. (photo courtesy of Purdue) Adranos co-founder Chris Stoker (left) and Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics, and technology. (photo courtesy of Purdue)

West Lafayette-based Adranos Inc. has been named a finalist in the U.S. Army’s xTechSearch competition. The company, which is developing rocket fuel it says is more powerful and environmentally-friendly, has received $125,000 and the opportunity to demonstrate its product for senior Pentagon leaders.

The company's propellant, known as ALITEC, is more efficient and cleaner than traditional propellants and can help the Army achieve Long Range Precision Fire and Air and Missile Defense modernization priorities, according to Adranos co-founder Chris Stoker. He says ALITEC could be used by all branches of the military, as well as NASA, other Department of Defense agencies, and U.S.-allied nations.

"The financial reward for being selected as a finalist is great, but the most important benefit is the exposure we will receive performing a live launch using our propellant in front of  senior Army officers," said Stoker. "This will be a monumental step in achieving adoption of our rocket propellant into actual applications. Traction with customers is a critical step for any new business, but it is especially important in the aerospace and defense industry where the number of customers is limited. Recognition as a top-12 technology out of nearly 400 applicants is a huge milestone for us."

The 12 finalists will compete for a $200,000 grand prize. 

Earlier this month, Adranos announced it had secured $800,000 in additional funding to continue testing the propellant. The majority of the funding came from Archibald Cox Jr., chairman of private investment firm Sextant Group Inc., with the remainder coming from Utah's USTAR TAP program, which supports private-sector technology development.

  • Perspectives

    • Marketing is No Mistake

      We all know, "People make mistakes." So true. Yet it's not an excuse for the marketing blunders that seem to reach customers a bit too often. Many can be chalked up to carelessness, insensitivity and lack of relevance or connection. Most organizations could benefit from a communications audit.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Amazon Picks NYC, Northern Virginia Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has officially announced a decision to split its second headquarters between New York City and northern Virginia. The company first announced plans for HQ2 in 2017, with plans for a $5 billion investment and 50,000 jobs. Early this year, Indianapolis was named one of 20 finalists for the project. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos says...

    • Park, Museum, Burger Among 'Best of' Indiana

      The state has announced a new group of "Best of Winners." The honorees, selected by online voting, include Best State Park, Turkey Run State Park in Marshall; Best Museum, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis; and Best Burger, Brew Burger in Jasper. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch says "with all the terrific choices that Hoosiers were able to pick from, I am not sure how they were able to narrow it down to the winners in each category."

    • Greenwood to Recognize New City Projects

      The city of Greenwood will showcase some $11 million in recently-complete projects designed to boost the quality of life in the Johnson County city. The new Surina Way connector is one part of the slate of downtown work and will be the focus of Tuesday's ribbon-cutting. Surina Way involves new sidewalks, decorative lighting, landscaping and a bioswale system that the city describes as a drainage innovation. Additional projects complete this year include...

    • Work Begins on $21M LaPorte Hospital

      Beacon Health System and Franciscan Health have broken ground on the $21.6 million Franciscan Beacon Hospital in LaPorte. The hospital will feature a full-service emergency department, inpatient care, lab services, diagnostic equipment and telehealth capabilities. Construction is set to be complete in early 2020. The project involves about 28,000 square feet of new construction and nearly 20,000 square feet of renovation at the current Beacon Medial Group building.

    • (Image courtesy of WTWO in Terre Haute.)

      Tom McClanahan to Retire

      After some 47 years at WTWO-TV in Terre Haute, Tom McClanahan has announced his retirement. Now an anchor for sister station WAWV, McClanahan was WTWO's senior weekday anchor for 26 years until 2008. The Indiana State University graduate is a Sullivan County native who also briefly worked at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute and in cable advertising sales. Since 1971, McClanahan's duties have included news photographer, reporter, anchor, sports director and account executive.