Ten years after Purdue Federal Credit Union provided seed capital for software company Passageways LLC, the company is gearing up to relocate its headquarters and offices to accommodate its growth.
The $777 million credit union in West Lafayette, Ind., was Passageways’ first customer, said Paroon Chadha, who, along with Christopher Beltran, founded the firm in 2003. The firm’s software is now used by more than 300 community banks, credit unions, hospitals and insurance companies around the world.
The company is relocating its headquarters and offices from the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette to Lafayette, Ind. The new office is scheduled to be finished in December.
Passageways’ team recently grew from 25 people to 35 and the firm plans to add more employees by the end of year, according to Chadha.
“Purdue FCU’s President/CEO Bob Falk and Executive Vice President Gail Koehler really understand and support entrepreneurship, and they played significant roles in encouraging us in our startup years,” said Chadha, who is CEO of Passageways.
Prior to receiving seed funding from Purdue FCU, Chadha said he and Beltran won $7,000 in Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition in 2002. He credits several Purdue professors who mentored the duo as Passageways made its debut.
“With so much help from this community, Christopher and I resisted moving to Silicon Valley because we had everything we needed right here to build Passageways,” Chadha said.
Passageways benefited in several ways by being based in Purdue Research Park, he added. In addition to the Purdue Research Foundation helping to look for new employees, providing facilities and media relations, the biggest benefit was having instant credibility being a software technology company based in the Purdue Research Park, Chadha noted.
The research park has four locations across Indiana is considered to be the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The parks are home to about 200 companies that employ about 4,000 people and are located in the Indiana cities of West Lafayette, Merrillville, Indianapolis and New Albany.
Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said downtown Lafayette is a good location for a company like Passageways.
“It's the creative hub not only for art and entertainment, but for entrepreneurs, startups and creative types of all kinds and interests,” Roswarski said in a statement.
Chadha said the area for Passageways’ new location is prime territory.
"West Lafayette has a tremendous talent pool, which has been our X-factor, I feel,” Chadha said. “All Purdue entrepreneurs should look into the benefits of this talent pool. There are several Purdue graduates who want to stay in the community for all the right reasons.”