Rose-Hulman Ventures, Indiana’s Best-kept Innovator’s Secret, Turns 20
Getting a new product to market involves several steps, including design, prototyping and development, and conquering these phases takes a combination of expertise, experience and a flare for original thinking.
Fortunately, there’s an organization right here in Indiana that has aided hundreds of companies taking those steps for the past 20 years, and it is only getting better with time.
Rose-Hulman Ventures, the business development arm of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, specializes in turning great ideas into world-changing products. And while that may sound impressive, it’s really much more than that.
“At Ventures, we don’t just follow instructions; we ask questions, test ideas, and discover new ways of doing things. We excel when we can work closely with clients to help them find the best possible way of moving forward,” says Brian Dougherty, senior director of Rose-Hulman Ventures who joined the Ventures team just over 20 years ago.
Despite its impressive track record, Rose-Hulman Ventures is one of Indiana’s best-kept secrets, not least because many of its clients, including Fortune 500 companies, require confidentiality for their Ventures projects. Another reason is that its work is hard to describe in a single sentence. Developing a new product is one thing, helping with the evolution of that product from rough idea to tangible device is something much more involved, requiring engineering expertise and also soft skills such as communication, creativity and teamwork.
A key facet of Rose-Hulman Ventures that makes it attractive to companies and entrepreneurs big into innovation is their policy on intellectual property. While many development hubs assume part ownership in IP, Ventures clients retain full rights to their intellectual property.
Because its workforce includes students from one of the country’s top-ranked engineering colleges, Rose-Hulman Ventures has a direct pipeline into a bottomless well of original thinking. Because its project managers are seasoned professionals, that original thinking is also guided by the wise hand of experience. The combination is powerful for Ventures clients.
Long Record of Positive Impact
Rose-Hulman Ventures has a long list of success stories, including groundbreaking projects that have changed the face of their industries. Perhaps the best known is its work with NICO Corporation, an Indianapolis-based developer of revolutionary, minimally invasive brain surgery technology. A Ventures client for years, NICO’s track record of improving outcomes for brain surgery patients is a definite source of pride for Dougherty and others long associated with the work.
“When you see the impact that product has had on peoples’ lives and reflect on our role in developing it, it’s very gratifying,” says Dougherty, who is also a Rose-Hulman alumnus.
Another health care project with wide-ranging impact was Rose-Hulman Ventures work with FAST Biomedical, a company creating technology to spot warning signs of heart failure, cardiorenal syndrome, sepsis and more.
Due to client confidentiality, it’s impossible to list many of Rose-Hulman Ventures’ projects, but, looking back over the past few years, a few rise to the surface either for their impact, uniqueness, or just-plain human interest.
In recent years, Rose-Hulman Ventures has helped:
- San Diego-based PacketSled expand its cybersecurity umbrella to cover medical records and patient data
- Indiana-based OmniSite create a cellular alarm system to notify plant managers when critical systems, such as municipal water treatment facilities, are in jeopardy
- Indianapolis-based Zipp create software to allow high-performance cyclists to find the best fit for their bikes
- Indiana’s own Trade Secret Chocolates design a dispenser for liquid chocolate shots.
Other notable client projects include Rose-Hulman Ventures’ work with Indiana-based XSoft to develop software that makes understanding online property tax information easier for appraisers, local officials and homeowners. XSoft currently manages online property tax data for a majority of Indiana’s counties.
Rose-Hulman Ventures also helped “Best of Tech” Mira Award winner Arrhythmotech design and build noninvasive technology that simultaneously records and processes sympathetic nerve activity and electrocardiogram signs. That work, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, could help doctors better identify patients at risk of sudden fatal heart attacks. Ventures also helped Illinois-based 3D Platform build an adjustable, one-to-four-meter-tall 3D printer in just 60 days.
And this is just scratching the surface.
For 20 years, and for many companies, Rose-Hulman Ventures has been the obvious answer just down the street. As Indiana-based entrepreneur Mark McLaurine said after using Ventures for help creating a sophisticated new luxury beverage bottle, Rose-Hulman Ventures “was a dream come true, honestly. No one in the U.S. had the capabilities we needed at a reasonable cost, except Ventures.”
For more information about these and other projects, please visit www.rhventures.org/projects.