Research Foundation News

May 26, 2017

Life sciences startup wins Purdue 2017 InnovateHER Challenge

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Advanced Vascular Therapies, a life sciences startup serving diabetic, wound-care patients and others with circulatory issues, received top honors at the second annual Purdue Innovate HER Challenge.

Advanced Vascular received $5,000 in prize money and will have an opportunity to compete for up to $70,000 in the national InnovateHER to be announced July 31.

“The competition was close, and the judges had a hard time deciding,” said Juliana Casavan, entrepreneurial programs manager for Purdue Foundry and co-director of the InnovateHER Challenge by WomenIN. “Ultimately, it came down to who knew their customers the best, their team and advisers helping them, if they had intellectual property, and if they had any traction in the market.”

The Purdue competition is organized through the WomenIN initiative hosted by Purdue Foundry, a Purdue-based entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator. The InnovateHER Challenge was launched nationwide in 2015 by the U.S. Small Business Administration to highlight innovative products and services designed to assist women and families.

Purdue’s 2016 winner Pu Wang, a Purdue graduate and current postdoctoral research assistant in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, was named a national finalist for MarginPAT, a breast cancer assessment tool that can differentiate between healthy and unhealthy tissue during surgery to help minimize secondary surgical procedures. Wang is co-founder and chief technology officer of Vibronix Inc., the company commercializing the technology.

The InnovateHER Challenge by WomenIN is sponsored by the Krannert School of Management’s Jane Brock-Wilson Women in Management Center and the Purdue Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. For more information, go to

About the 2017 InnovateHER Challenge

The InnovateHER Challenge provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. to display products and services that have a measureable impact on women and families. Created by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the challenge offers local competitions held by universities, business accelerators, SBA resource partners and others. Each chooses a single winner to advance to the national competition. National competitors travel to Washington, D.C., to compete for a combined $70,000 in prizes.

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. Managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, the Purdue Foundry was named a top recipient at the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation and Awards Program by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at

Media contact: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340,

Sources: Juliana Casavan, 765-588-5253,

Brittany Collins, 765-588-5252,

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