Showcase Winners Highlight Variety in Agbiosciences

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Evan Rocheford is the CEO of NutraMaize. (photo courtesy of Purdue Railyard) Evan Rocheford is the CEO of NutraMaize. (photo courtesy of Purdue Railyard)

An ag startup that originated at Purdue University was one of the big winners at Tuesday's Ag+Bio+Science Start-up Showcase in Indianapolis. NutraMaize, which specializes in non-GMO orange corn, won the People's Choice award and $2,000 at the event hosted by AgriNovus Indiana. The company's main product, Professor Torbert's Orange Corn, was developed by Purdue agronomy professor Torbert Rocheford and its original purpose was to help alleviate malnutrition in Africa. 

Rocheford and his son, Evan, formed NurtraMaize in 2015 with the goal of bringing the product to America. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Evan Rocheford said one of the reasons for the company's win is because it was awarded by the audience.

"We have a technology, we have a product that really impacts everyone," said Rocheford. "This is something that is really understandable. You can see the difference and I think that really resonated with the audience. I think (the award) really ups the visibility and helps solidify that what we're doing is something that people want to pay attention to and really want to support."

Last month, Rocheford appeared on the Business of Health with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Kylie Veleta to talk about the company and its products. You can watch the full interview in the video below.

Another Indiana company, Rabbit Tractors, won the People's Choice second place prize and $1,000. The company is developing an autonomous and multi-purposed farm-production tractor for farmers to use in pre-harvest activities.

A software company focusing on drone data won the "Best in Showcase" award, presented by Innovatemap. Progeny, which has developed software allowing farmers to extract and analyze drone data without the need for Internet, will receive marketing services from Innovatemap as a result.

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