Toward the end of 2017, Scott Massey, a recent Purdue University engineering graduate, approached Southwest Indiana SBDC business advisor, Doug Claybourn, for assistance with a new product he and some associates were trying to bring to market. Massey and his team had created a unique, indoor plant-growing system called GroPods, which took first place at several pitch competitions, but were looking for more funding in order to bring their product to market.
Claybourn assisted the young company, Heliponix, in preparing its business plan and financial projections along with a successful loan application through the newly-created Vectren Loan Foundation. Massey and his company have continued to pitch their product to others and have even visited Togo, West Africa to develop educational hydroponic farms to assist in combating the country’s persistent hunger problems. They are also involved in fighting food deserts domestically.
“As a 23 year old, recent graduate from Purdue University, and co-founder of Heliponix™ with Ivan Ball, we found ourselves in need of capital to cover our initial inventory of GroPods™ after spending the investments from the Purdue Research Foundation on our utility patents. However, we were relieved to learn that we had more than enough resources at the Southwest Indiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in my hometown of Evansville. Not only did they recommend to us a favorable business loan from the Vectren Foundation, but their proven faith in our business has initiated discussions with several local investors while continuing to provide valuable business advice when needed .”
The company has already began production and is projected to grow substantially into 2019.