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.

Purdue Foundry's

Ignite Program

Ideating or planning your mission is a critical first step. Our signature Firestarter program is now a short introduction to startup ideation designed for first-time founders who have an idea they think could be something. But simply having an idea or a technology does not ensure success. First-time founders often struggle to clearly define the problem they are solving and connecting that problem to the market segment that is feeling the pain most acutely. In fact, according to CB Insights, of the startups that fail, 42% don’t succeed due to lack of or ill-defined market need. That’s why the Purdue Foundry has developed the Ignite program to help founders derisk their ideas before launching their company.

Play Trailer

A cohort-based program for founders looking to start a company in the next 3 -9 months. We teach founders processes to clarify the problem they’re solving and the value they are delivering – from the customer’s perspective. Working within a cohort to define problem-market fit, each founder or team will develop elements of their business model in each workshop and present to the cohort for feedback and pressure testing of both their ideas and presentation skills – culminating in a final presentation for a panel of industry professionals. Ignite is the first step in de-risking your startup.

Apply NowLearn More
Jason Salstrom with Purdue Firestarter Program

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.

Play Trailer

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 contributions to The Pantheon!

Steve Miller

CEO Griffin Enterprises,
Founder of INVin and The Pantheon

"The Pantheon’s mission will play a significant part in developing resources, services, and a community to foster innovation and help entrepreneurs and businesses prosper in Knox County. Vision = A Vibrant, Prosperous Knox County.”

Play Trailer

By the Numbers

20%

of small businesses fail within the first year.

50%

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

35%

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

Don’t become another statistic.

What You Get When You Join

Creative space for coworking and starting a business in indiana
Community

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 Event space for rent
Events

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.

Handicap accessible event space Vincennes
Formula

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.

Business incubator and business help with business plan
REsources

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.

Help starting a business Pantheon Theater
entrepreneur

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 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."
SPEAK MODalities, LLC

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."
Akanocure