Rocket engine and food-growing technologies took the top prizes at Purdue University’s 30th Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition. Tri-D Dynamics, which looks to make efficient rocket engines, and Hydro Grow, which is developing an automated home vegetable-growing system, earned first place in their respective divisions.
Tri-D Dynamics won the $30,000 top prize in the Gold Division, for graduate students and others. The company has a patent-pending process it says allows rocket engine manufacturers to be more efficient and produce lighter engines more quickly. The honor marks the second straight year a company creating rocket propulsion technology has won the the Gold Division.
Diagnostics company PathVis, which uses smartphones to track pathogen outbreaks, earned second place in the Gold Division.
Hydro Grow won the $20,000 Black Division prize for its pod-based vegetable growing system. The technology uses seed cups placed into a stand-alone tower to enable customers to grow their own vegetables indoors. The company has already raised $55,000 in startup money by taking part in other competitions.
LOQBOX, which uses Internet of Things technology to allow users to unlock their door with a smartphone or tablet, took second place in the Black Division.
The annual Purdue entrepreneurship competition began in 1987 with an endowment gift from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, which also funded the $7 million Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park.