Purdue innovation fund gives $100,000 to ag startups

January 4, 2017

Two Purdue agricultural-based startups received investments totaling $100,000 from the Purdue Ag-celerator, a plant sciences innovation fund operated by Purdue Ventures, the capital access arm of the Purdue Foundry, with assistance from the Purdue College of Agriculture, Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization, and the agricultural industry. Phicrobe, a startup commercializing a method for the inexpensive and rapid detection of pathogenic E. coli in food and food product environments, received $75,000 in funding. Hydro Grow, a startup developing a refrigerator-sized automated device to grow vegetables in consumers’ homes, received $25,000.

The Ag-celerator is a $2 million fund supported through the Purdue Moves initiative designed to provide critical financial support for Purdue innovators wishing to commercialize patented intellectual property or Purdue know-how technologies in plant sciences, including areas of research in crop optimization, hybrid and seed development, and precision agriculture.

“The Ag-celerator investment Phicrobe has received will allow us to expedite the commercialization of the developed technology, moving it through the necessary approval process and certifications, to help ensure food safety,” said Bruce Applegate, founder of Phicrobe and Purdue associate professor of food science. “The Purdue Foundry has been a tremendous resource during the startup process, helping us to navigate our way through the initial steps of commercialization. Its support is a key component in our effort to commercialize intellectual property developed through the USDA-supported Center for Food Safety Engineering here at Purdue.”

Phicrobe and Hydro Grow were two of nine finalists that recently pitched to a selection committee as part of the fall semester Ag-celerator Demo Day at Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

Press release