Two Purdue University seniors from the Tri-State put their minds together to create something that may shake up the world of agriculture as we know it.
Evansville’s Scott Massey and Owensville’s Ivan Ball did not cross paths until college, where they brainstormed ideas and came up with an invention called Hydro Grow. Their invention recently won them a combined $35,000 grant to help them continue to bring the idea to life.
Like all good things, it starts with just an idea.
“I started making a lot of concept drawings and these drawings turned into blueprints and these blueprints turned into prototypes and then we had our first functional model completed,” Scott Massey, the Hydro Grow LLC. co-founder and CEO, said.
The duo’s idea was an automated hydroponics appliance that could be used in the average household.
“Hydroponics is when you grow plants without dirt,” Massey said. “You only use nutrient-rich water.”
Massey said this allows people to grow all of their produce right inside their home and avoid a trip to the grocery store. He said this is a good thing because often the produce at the store is not as fresh as one may think.
“Two-thirds of our nation’s produce comes from California, so if you’re getting strawberries from here in Evansville that means you have two to three days of transit, it sat in the store for two to three days, and by the time you eat those strawberries, it’s a week old,” he said.
Massey and Ball said they have found a lot of people to get behind their idea.
“It initially started with Scott really, really falling in love with this project and I didn’t really see it until after he won that first competition,” Ivan Ball, the Hydro Grow LLC. co-founder and CTO, said.
Both said the original seed for their idea was planted here in the Tri-State, thanks to what they learned at an early age.
“Being from Evansville, I was aware of how important agriculture was to the industry,” Massey said.
Ball said he had a similar experience.
“All my neighbors… farmers… so I’ve been around agriculture my whole life,” Ball said. “I got to ride in the combines with all my neighbors and stuff.”
Massey and Ball said it may be difficult, but they are ready to really grow Hydro Grow.
“It’s not an easy process, but it’s the most rewarding experience I’ve ever felt in my life,” Massey said.
For those interested in learning more about Hydro Grow and investing in their idea, Massey and Ball said to visit their website.