Two Purdue University-affiliated startups have received approvals for up to $250,000 each from the Purdue Foundry Investment Fund to help continue their missions of advancing life science technologies.
“The Foundry Investment Fund provides an important avenue for attracting interest in Purdue-affiliated life sciences companies like Amplified Sciences and Brightlamp to help them take their technologies to the market,” said John Hanak, managing director of Purdue Ventures.
The Foundry Investment Fund, established in 2014, is a Purdue Research Foundation asset with the goal of adding critical capital for the transition from the discovery of a promising technology to founding a viable life sciences company. The funds are partial matching investments following investments made in the companies by institutional and other investors.
Amplified Sciences, which is working on advancing technology for earlier detection of cancer and other diseases, received approval for $250,000, of which approximately $185,000 has been invested already.
“I often tell people that we wouldn’t be here without the support from the Purdue Foundry and other components of the Purdue entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said Diana Caldwell, president and CEO of Amplified Sciences. “This latest support will help us continue our work to develop and commercialize lifesaving in vitro diagnostic tests that leverage our novel technology licensed from Purdue.”
Vincent Jo Davisson, a professor in Purdue’s College of Pharmacy and the co-founder of Amplified Sciences, connected with Caldwell through the Purdue Foundry. The Purdue Foundry is housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Discovery Park District, a 400-acre, $1 billion-plus purpose-driven community on the western edge of campus that will include laboratories, advanced manufacturing facilities, offices, retail shops, restaurants, housing, green space, trails and an airport with a 7,000-foot runway.
Brightlamp, a startup that uses machine learning and computer vision to improve health care and detect concussions, received approval for $250,000 in matching investment dollars, of which approximately $130,000 has closed.
The company has been advancing its Reflex app, a diagnostic tool for traumatic brain injury that allows a broad spectrum of medical professionals to capture critical diagnostic optical data securely in about five seconds.
A doctor downloads the app on their phone, holds it at the optimal distance from the patient’s eye and Brightlamp’s machine learning algorithm takes it from there to provide data to help diagnose a possible concussion or traumatic brain injury.
“The latest funding helps us intensify our connections with the medical community as we work to make this the standard of care for this technology,” said Kurtis Sluss, CEO and founder of Brightlamp. “We take an interesting approach to the clinical problem, in that we work directly with medical professionals to learn and use our technology.”
Sluss said the company also plans to develop the technology for use as a broader assessment tool for things such intoxication or drug use detection.
The Foundry Investment Fund has invested nearly $5 million in 13 companies in the past five years. Those companies have secured capital from venture funds and other institutional and professional investment sources.