Feb 6, 2023Purdue Ag-Celerator invests in pathogen detection tech
OmniVis, which focuses on the speed, accuracy and economics of pathogen detection, has received $100,000 from the Purdue Ag-Celerator, an agriculture innovation fund.
OmniVis makes iSpyDx hand-held devices that rapidly detect pathogens in food, agriculture and water samples. The devices perform to laboratory method standards but do not require special equipment or training.
CEO and co-founder Katherine Clayton said OmniVis is interested in detecting pathogens related to food safety to protect the consumer, grower and everyone along the food production and distribution chain. The Ag-Celerator funding allows OmniVis to establish a field pilot for iSpyDx.
“OmniVis knows what a top-notch agricultural program Purdue has, along with amazing support from the state,” Clayton said in a news release. “The funding will help us to test our solution in real-world settings and make more connections in the agricultural community. We see the Ag-Celerator as an incredible opportunity to work with amazing talent in the agricultural community across Purdue and the state of Indiana.”
In 2022, OmniVis was named in the fifth annual Most Fundable Companies list by Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School. Other co-founders are:
- Tamara Kinzer-Ursem, associate head for academic programs and the Marta E. Gross Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. Kinzer-Ursem pitched OmniVis during the Ag-Celerator Demo Day event in December.
- Jacqueline Linnes, the Marta E. Gross Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, and director of the College of Engineering Honors Program.
- Steven Wereley, professor of mechanical engineering, School of Mechanical Engineering.
Ag-Celerator, created in 2015, is a $2 million innovation fund designed to provide critical startup support for Purdue innovators who bring Purdue’s patented intellectual property or Purdue’s “know-how” technologies to market. The fund is operated by Purdue Ventures with assistance from the Purdue University College of Agriculture, the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization and the agricultural industry.
“Purdue’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture supports students, faculty, staff and alumni who want to strengthen the industry,” Bernie Engel, senior associate dean of research and graduate education, said in the release. “Ag-Celerator investments are a resource that can help them bring their work to market.”
Riley Gibb, director of business development at Purdue Ventures, said in the release that “Ag-Celerator funding has impacted several startup companies that bring Purdue innovations to the market, including preparing them for further investment. We are excited by the advancements being developed by OmniVis and are excited for its growth.”
Previous recipients of Ag-Celerator investments are AkanoCure Pharmaceuticals Inc., Heliponix, Insignum AgTech, JUA Technologies International LLC, Karyosoft LLC, Krishi LLC, LeafSpec AgTech, NanoBio Designs, Ongenia LLC, Phicrobe LLC, Progeny Drone Inc., Rogo Ag LLC, Verility Inc., VinSense LLC and ZeaVaxx. Applications for the spring 2023 funding round are due February 15.