seal  Purdue News

July 29, 2003

Purdue Research Park startup acquired by West Coast firm

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Seattle-area information technology company announced today (Tuesday, 7/29) its acquisition of Maxim I/T Inc., a digital data retrieval company located in the Purdue Research Park.

As part of the company's acquisition of Maxim I/T, Product Sight Corp. will continue to support and develop Maxim I/T's FindView software technology, which provides Web-based technical content search and retrieval solutions to manufacturing businesses.

Senior members of the Maxim I/T team have joined Product Sight and will relocate to its Bellevue, Wash., headquarters (located about 12 miles from Seattle) to provide product development and support for FindView customers.

The financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.

"We are thrilled to provide our valued customers and loyal employees with the many benefits this acquisition represents for them," said Lloyd Fields, CEO of Maxim I/T and a Purdue University engineering alumnus. "Moving the operations away from our West Lafayette roots is bittersweet. However, this successful outcome would have been less certain without access to superior technical talent from Purdue and the otherwise inaccessible infrastructure afforded our business by the Purdue Research Park."

Maxim I/T is one of 40 high-tech companies that began in the Purdue Research Park high-tech business incubation complex. The complex, administered by the Purdue Research Foundation, nurtures these fledgling firms with flexible leases, attractive rental rates, shared office services and business consulting until these startups get to the point where they are mature enough to "graduate" into their own space outside the incubator.

"As we search for new complementary technology acquisitions, we look for companies like Maxim I/T, where successful customers, a solid management team and a well-developed technology converge to create a sustainable value proposition," said Bruce Winegarden, Product Sight Corp. CEO. "Purdue Research Park undoubtedly accelerated Maxim I/T's business and the development of the innovative FindView technology."

Seven years ago, Purdue engineering alumnus Nainesh Rathod founded Maxim I/T in a small space at the Purdue Technology Center, the largest of the research park's three business incubation facilities. The company then developed its FindView software and began adding companies to its customer base, including Arctic Cat, Delphi Automotive, TRW Automotive and the U.S. Air Force. In 2000, Maxim I/T received venture capital from Indianapolis-based CID Equity Partners.

"Within our incubator, Maxim I/T has been able to benefit from access to an employee pool of talented information technology undergrads and grads from Purdue University, as well as to attract substantial venture capital backing and a seasoned chief executive officer," said Joseph Hornett, senior vice president and treasurer of the Purdue Research Foundation. "We provide an entrepreneurial atmosphere where companies can grow in the hopes that they remain here once they can fly on their own."

One such company – Copient Technologies, an information technology startup recently acquired by NCR Corp. – will remain in one of the park's privately owned graduation facilities.

The foundation, in partnership with the city of West Lafayette, also is working to develop acreage within the park for high-tech companies to build their own facilities. For example, Cook Biotech Inc., a venture created to develop Purdue-licensed tissue engineering technology, is constructing a 55,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the research park that will be completed in 2004.

"Unfortunately, some companies develop such specialized technologies that to flourish any further means migrating," Hornett said. "However, as information technology companies evolve in Indiana, we are confident that additional IT ventures formed in the research park will find a permanent place in the state."

Product Sight is a privately held innovator of product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions. The company develops and sells packaged Web-based software that allows engineering and manufacturing enterprises to search, retrieve, aggregate and manage complex content, regardless of how it was authored or where it resides in the enterprise.

Purdue Research Park encompasses 591 acres in West Lafayette, Ind. With 38 buildings, the park is home to 104 businesses, of which 58 are high-tech. These companies employ more than 2,200 people.

Writer: Jeanine S. Phipps, (765) 496-3133;

Sources: Lloyd Fields, Maxim-I/T, (513) 254-3854;

Joseph Hornett, Purdue Research Foundation, (765) 494-8645;

Bruce Winegarden, CEO, Product Sight Corp., (425) 467-7117;

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