Start Up &
Business Services

We break down the hidden steps in starting a business.

Cultivating an idea, creating an irresistible offer, making a sale, and many more. It’s all laid out, step by step, in Firestarter, a Purdue Foundry product.

By the Numbers


of small businesses fail within the first year.


of small businesses fail by the end of their fifth year.


By year ten only 35% of the businesses are left.

Don’t become another statistic.

What You Get When You Join


A supportive, vibrant COMMUNITY of fellow business owners you can turn to for answers, feedback, and encouragement. The Foundry has available a strong team of MBA students from the Krannert School of Management. These students are a valuable resource for client companies. The MBA team conducts market and industry analyses, develop competitive company profiles, evaluate go to market strategies and build financial models to support client company business plans.

Pantheon Theater

VIP access to EVENTS. Meet entrepreneurs and connect with other ambitious top performers like yourself, in real life. The Pantheon hosts events by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs tailored toward helping you achieve startup success.


Comprehensive FORMULA’s detailing everything you need to start and grow a business, step by step. All the exact strategies, frameworks, hands-on tactics, real-world examples, benchmarks, and hard-won breakthroughs to start and grow your own business. There are several options available for this learning: 6-week short course, semester-long course, or national program.


Valuable access to RESOURCES. Tasks like grant-writing and legalwork are often overlooked and lead to headaches down-the-line. The Foundry provides client companies with a grant writer to help write, organize and submit Phase I grant proposals. They are also connected to law firms that provide pro-bono and reduced fee services to Foundry client companies. These firms specialize in corporate formation and documents, intellectual property protection and immigration issues.


Access to an ENTREPRENEUR IN RESIDENCE to help walk side-by-side with you as questions pop-up on your journey. The EIR is an experienced entrepreneur with both industry and management experience.

Purdue Firestarter

The overall goal of Firestarter is to help inventors/founders find the value proposition of their idea. What does that mean exactly? Many faculty and students come to us with just an early-stage idea and it is our job to help them identify the value of that idea.

One of the ways we do this is through Firestarter. The program gives clients the opportunity to explore potential markets, customers and financial models. At the end of the process, each member has the necessary information to decide if there is value in the idea and if it makes sense to continue moving forward.

Check out the Virtual 5-week Course
Jason Salstrom

Jason Salstrom

Jason joined the Purdue Research Foundation in August of 2017 to launch Purdue@Westgate, at the Westgate@Crane Technology Park, in Odon, Indiana. Jason leads the team that manages WestGate’s Purdue Foundry, communications, events, leasing, and operations of the WestGate Academy conference, office, and training center. Purdue@WestGate has supported over 80 startups, including industry spinouts and faculty and student startups from five universities, and was named Top Economic Development Project of the Year by Radius Indiana and received the Accelerating Economic Development Award from the Indiana Association of Regional Councils. Jason brings broad experience to PRF that spans the boundaries between military, industry, startups, and academe.

At the Pantheon, Jason will lend his experience developing entrepreneurial ecosystems, mentoring innovators, and guiding startups in business, product, customer, and investor development. Additionally, Jason will support the commercialization team in residence at the Pantheon from Purdue’s Davidson School of Chemical Engineering.

Purdue Chemical Engineering

The relationship with Purdue started in 2013 when Steve Miller (Pioneer Oil) sought out a research partner to deliver new innovation and technology to the state in the energy space.  Through the years of continual, fruitful collaboration the relationship grew to include School Head Professor Sangtae (Sang) Kim of Chemical Engineering, the Purdue Foundry and numerous other faculty, staff and students throughout Purdue.

As part of the partnership between the Purdue Davidson School of Chemical Engineering and The Pantheon, Sang generously set aside a portion of the Robert T. Henson endowment to fund activities at the Pantheon. Principles underpinning the Purdue ChE collaboration with the Pantheon include furthering the spirit of entrepreneurship along with benefitting the education of Purdue University Chemical Engineering students in innovation and technology commercialization.

Through the generosity of the Henson Endowment, Purdue’s Davidson School of Chemical Engineering will help support at the Pantheon: programming, entrepreneurial activities and personnel in the forms of summer internships (Robert T. Henson Scholars), Co-Ops and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR).

Over time, the outgrowth of this relationship will result in technologies being transferred into and created in Knox County, businesses being formed, and the vision of The Pantheon being fulfilled…a vibrant and prosperous Knox County.

Thank you Sang for your continual involvement, support and generous contributions to The Pantheon!

Purdue Success Stories

Meredith Gradle

"The Foundry provided me with the guidance and direction that I needed as a new entrepreneur. The team asked me the tough questions that I needed to have the answers to before taking the plunge with my startup."
Iris Works

Oliver Wendt

"Passionate mentors, cutting–edge resources & a vibrant entrepreneurial community: the ideal place to get our start-up off the ground."

Sherine Abdelmawla

"We started as a group of scientists who took a very steep upward learning curve into handling business because of the Foundry's mentorship, constant advice, and support."