Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund has announced $80,000 in funding to four Purdue University-affiliated startups. The startups have been selected to receive tier-one "Black Award" investments of $20,000 each. They are Covert Defenses, BDYWR, Rogo Ag LLC and C2 Medical Robotics Inc.
Covert Defenses develops technology to prevent computer attacks on systems such as a nuclear reactor or power plant. The company was founded by Purdue professor Hany Abdel-Khalik and has developed a covert defense algorithm to employ evasive tactics to deceive hackers.
BDYWR is developing a method of using the human body as an internet that could be used to authenticate Human-Computer Interaction devices. Purdue electrical and computer engineering assistant professor Shreyas Sen has used the human body to communicate securely with the signal never going beyond a centimeter from the skin, and also using 100 times less energy than traditional Bluetooth communication.
Rogo is making autonomous robots to collect accurate soil samples to allow farmers to make better decisions about soil fertility applications. The company created SmartCore, which is an autonomous robot that collects soil samples from fields and returns the samples directly to the operator to then deliver for lab analysis. The technology has made soil sampling 20% more accurate, without raising costs.
C2 Medical Robotics Inc. is developing low-cost disposable, robotic spinal surgical tools and devices for the most common surgical spine procedure in the U.S: lumbar discectomy, of which there are more than 350,000 cases a year. lumbar discectomy, the most common surgical spinal procedure in the United States with more than 350,000 cases a year. The company was founded by David J. Cappelleri, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue.
The fund is a joint venture between the Purdue Foundry and Elevate Ventures. The fund was established in 2014 and has committed to invest $2.7 million in 74 companies.