Research Foundation News

May 1, 2018

Purdue alumni startup wins for best new tech product at TechPoint Mira Awards

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University-affiliated startup received the Best New Tech Product award from TechPoint, Indiana’s technology growth initiative, during the recent 19th annual Mira Awards.

Heliponix™ LLC, founded by Purdue Polytechnic Institute graduates Ivan Ball and Scott Massey, received the award for its GroPod™ and SeedPod™, small in-home greenhouse products which can grow produce three times faster than conventional farm methods. The dishwasher-sized device fits under a kitchen counter and grows produce year-round, providing consumers with lettuce and other greens that are fresh and pesticide-free.

“It’s an incredible honor to receive recognition for our technology that truly benefits consumers and the environment,” Ball said. “We want to change food production amid looming worldwide food shortages and growing concerns about food pesticides.”

Heliponix, a startup from Purdue’s Startup Class of 2017, received the award to honor its groundbreaking technology, which became commercially available within the last year.

The Mira Awards judges called Heliponix a “category killer” with significant opportunity to capture a large share of the global vertical farming market, which is a nearly billion-dollar industry.

The founders of Heliponix took part in programs at the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator in Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Purdue. They were part of the FireStarter program, where innovators work through ideation and market discovery to prove their ideas and determine a path forward to commercialization.

“Growing startups like Heliponix epitomize what it means to be a student-entrepreneur in the Purdue innovation ecosystem,” said Brian Edelman, president of the Purdue Research Foundation, which manages the Purdue Foundry. “They are receiving assistance through our Purdue Foundry, and taking that help and running with it to advance their company.”

Other Purdue-affiliated finalists for the Mira Awards are Mimir; Skyepack; Passageways, all finalists for the Scale-up of the Year category; Holostream for Innovation of the Year; Purdue Foundry for Community Champion of the Year; and Steve Abel and John B. Hertig for Educator of the Year.

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. Managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, the Purdue Foundry was co-named a top recipient at the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation and Awards Program by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at 

Purdue Research Foundation contact: Chris Adam, 765-588-3341,

Research Foundation News

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-20 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at