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Imaginestics

West Lafayette, Ind.

Nainesh Rathod, president and CEO, and Jamie Tan, chief technical officer

Incubator: Purdue Technology Center, West Lafayette, Ind.

Revenues: $1.15 million

Employees: 19

www.imaginestics.com

Imaginestics founders Nainesh Rathod and Jamie Tan envisioned a world where buyers could find manufacturing parts and products on the Web using shapes, including freehand sketch doodles, images, 3D CAD models and 2D drawings as search inputs. So the pair created VizSeek, the company’s online search engine. "Since a picture is worth a thousand words, users can describe what they are looking for easily through doodling or pictures and then with words," Rathod says. "And because VizSeek uses shapes — a universal language — to conduct matches, buyers worldwide can connect with suppliers without the biases of user, contextual, cultural or even language differences."

Incubator role: Imaginestics’ shape search technology was in the development stages for more than six years, beginning in the research labs at Purdue University. So when it came time for Rathod and Tan to launch the company, joining the Purdue Research Foundation’s incubation program made good sense. "They [incubator staff] have been the conduit between Purdue researchers and Imaginestics, and this has helped Imaginestics’ overall value," Rathod says. "In particular, Purdue’s Office of Technology Transfer has been extremely helpful with technology licensing, which has allowed us to develop our solution aggressively with the peace of mind of being adequately protected but without incurring upfront technology patent cost."

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