Since it was launched in early 2012, a chief goal of the ICC-IT has been to build a local ecosystem in which entrepreneurs and innovators in the Purdue and Greater Lafayette community could come together to share expertise, find resources, and advance toward successful commercialization. This was done in collaboration with other Purdue organizations, including the Office of Technology Commercialization, the Purdue Entrepreneurship Task Force, and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Club, as well as with many community leaders. Our shared goal is to make Greater Lafayette a viable, energetic community in which to launch new businesses.
Among our first efforts were the Friday morning coffee gatherings for entrepreneurs and the TGIF lunchtime pizza student group. Both weekly events quickly became venues for budding entrepreneurs to network, share ideas, practice business pitches, and connect with experienced mentors, such as members of the Purdue alumni group “Silicon Valley Boiler Innovation Group”, SVBIG.
The ICC-IT also provided seed funding to seven proposals to put new products on the road to commercialization:
In addition to these innovations, the ICC-IT also participated in two efforts focused on students: Through collaboration with Professor Melissa Dark, a mini-grant program was funded for nine entrepreneur teams of students to further their innovations. Also, through a $50,000 grant from Indiana-based Schurz Communications, the ICC-IT sponsored the first Purdue-Schurz Innovation Challenge which offered students an opportunity to work on a prototype of an idea in media technology as well as win prize money.
Those of us leading the ICC-IT are delighted that Dan Hasler, President of the Purdue Research Foundation and Purdue's Chief Entrepreneurship Officer is providing leadership for a more permanent institutional organization with the introduction of The Foundry.
The Foundry was developed based on the piloted ICC-IT to encompass all domains within the University and to assist in the development of business startups. We are pleased to announce that the ICC-IT will be transitioning into The Foundry as of November 1, 2013. Although now part of The Foundry, the goals of commercialization of Purdue technology and creating a local ecosystem to support startups and employment, continue to be priorities under this blended organization.
I want to thank each of you who made the ICC-IT a success, and I look forward to working with you in the future to continue to build the foundation of a vibrant innovation community here in Greater Lafayette.
Gerry McCartney, Ph.D.
Vice President for Information Technology & System CIO
Inaugural Director, Innovation and Commercialization Center
Olga Oesterle England Professor of Information Technology