Purdue Grads Scott Massey And Ivan Ball Win The 2024 HungerTech Innovation Challenge


AgriNovus Indiana announces Purdue University Grads Scott Massey And Ivan Ball Win The 2024 HungerTech Innovation Challenge

APRIL 30, 2024

Anu selected from 16 teams aiming to create tech-enabled solutions that connect food supply with food demand

INDIANAPOLIS (April 29, 2024) — AgriNovus Indiana, an initiative to grow the state’s bioscience economy, today announced Evansville, Ind.-based Anu has won the HungerTech Innovation Challenge, securing the company $25,000 to advance its tech-enabled food security solution.

Presented by Elevance Health, the HungerTech Innovation Challenge is a four-week accelerator supporting entrepreneurs to create tech-enabled businesses that ensure increased and equitable food distribution that is both environmentally sustainable and economically viable.

“HungerTech was created to inspire innovation that durably addresses the gap that exists between food supply and food demand,” said Mitch Frazier, president and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana. “Anu’s technology has the potential to bring the production and availability of healthy foods to consumers across the country and around the world.”

Anu is a dedicated health and wellness platform committed to growing fresh produce from the comfort of home. Their Rotary Aeroponics technology supports a ‘Nespresso for plants’ business model, offering a recurring seed pod subscription service that sets a standard for nutrition and flavor while also focusing on food safety. Anu has previously received funding from the Purdue University Research Foundation Capital Fund, the National Science Foundation for the development of computer vision AI, and the State of Indiana Manufacturing Grants to enhance production capabilities. The company was founded by a team of former NASA research engineers from Purdue University, Ivan Ball and Scott Massey, and is now taking steps to bring their technology into everyday living spaces and commercial settings.

“Increased access to more nutritious and flavorful food is a principle upon which Anu was founded,” said Scott Massey, Founder and CEO of Anu. “Participating in the HungerTech Innovation Challenge creates new opportunities to educate and empower consumers to sustainably grow Pure Produce­ that ultimately solves one of the most critical challenges of our time: food insecurity.”

Anu’s win follows a string of several accolades to kick off 2024, including founder and CEO Scott Massey’s naming to the Forbes 30 Under 30 and the company being named semi-finalists in the American Farm Bureau Federation Ag Innovation Challenge.

In addition to Elevance Health, leaders from Gleaners, NEXT Studios and TechPoint supported the challenge.

The HungerTech Innovation Challenge was informed by an AgriNovus study commissioned by the Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability at Purdue University. Entitled Addressing Food Insecurity and Waste in the United States Through a Market-Driven Model, the research shows a significant paradox in the United States where nearly 12 percent of households face food insecurity while up to 40 percent of our nation’s food supply is discarded annually. This stark contrast is exacerbated by logistical inefficiencies, inaccurate demand planning and unequal access to information about the availability of food and nutrition.

FOOTNOTE: To learn more about Anu and the HungerTech Innovation Challenge, visit https://agrinovusindiana.com/hungertech/.