Insignum AgTech creates plants (shown at left) that warn growers of an early-stage infection by turning purple. Verility Inc. predicts livestock ovulation phase and assesses sperm quality (shown at right). (image courtesy of Purdue University)

Two startups founded by Purdue University alumni have each received $100,000 from the Purdue Ag-Celerator fund. The university says Insignum AgTech and Verility Inc. will use the funding to commercialize and scale their agricultural ventures.

Insignum AgTech, led by founder and Chief Executive Officer Kyle Mohler, creates plants that warn growers of an early-stage infection. According to Mohler, the plants turn purple before a pathogen can be identified, providing information to protect against disease.

“Investment from Ag-Celerator is a wonderful validation of our progress over the past few years and trust in our trajectory,” Mohler said. “We at Insignum are excited that Purdue Foundry is joining our seed round, which will propel our product development in corn and allow us to begin developing technology for additional crops.”

Verility is an animal health platform that provides fertility analysis products. Co-founder and CEO Liane Hart says the products help livestock breeders with reproductive performance by predicting ovulation phases and assessing sperm quality.

“The $100,000 from Ag-Celerator will allow us to finalize our proof-of-concept ovulation studies scheduled throughout the first half of 2022,” Hart said. “It is an honor to be selected for this award not only as the CEO of Verility, but also as a Purdue alumna. We appreciate the esteemed panel of judges’ recognition of the significant and successful results that we have accomplished throughout our startup journey. This opportunity definitely allows us to push forward farther faster, creating more value for our company.”

Last August, Hart appeared on the Ag+Bio+Science Podcast with AgriNovus Indiana to talk about the company’s technology.

Purdue says Ag-Celerator provides startup support for alumni who bring Purdue patented intellectual property or technologies to market. Previous recipients of Ag-Celerator funding include LeafSpec AgTech, DISCOVER, Rogo Ag LLC and Heliponix, among others.

Last year, Ag-Celerator eligibility expanded to include startups in all agricultural fields.