Purdue student-inventor nabs VC on TV show

September 30, 2009

A Purdue University student who invented a soy-based modeling dough walked away with a $300,000 investment after appearing Tuesday on the ABC show “Shark Tank.”

Sawyer Sparks, a Purdue senior and Bloomfield native, created Soy-Yer Dough, a wheat-free modeling dough, as an alternative to Play-Doh. He was inspired by one of his favorite professors and her daughter, who both suffer from a wheat allergy.

Appearing on the television show, Sparks convinced two self-made millionaires to invest in his patented product. The $300,000 commitment from the two investors represents a 51-percent stake in his company.

Soy-Yer Dough already is available to consumers. Many schools use it, and it also is available for organizations to use for fund raising.

Sparks said he has been in talks with the maker of Play-Doh about purchasing his product. 


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