AgriNovus Indiana announces winners of 2023 HungerTech Innovation Challenge
IUPUI student team GreenBasket selected from 18 teams aiming to connect food supply with food demand using technology
AgriNovus Indiana, an initiative to grow the state’s agbioscience economy, today announced Indianapolis-based GreenBasket has won the HungerTech Innovation Challenge, securing the company $25,000 to help advance its tech-enabled food security product.
Presented by Elevance Health, the HungerTech Innovation Challenge is a four-week accelerator supporting entrepreneurs to create tech-enabled businesses that connect food-insecure populations to for-profit and not-for-profit food networks.
“HungerTech is a powerful experience for innovators that unites entrepreneurship and business to inspire the creation of technologies to serve those in need,” said Mitch Frazier, president and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana. “We look forward to working with the GreenBasket team to realize their vision of using technology to connect food supply with those that need it most.”
GreenBasket developed CropSpots, a click-and-collect model that delivers farmer’s market goods to areas of frequent community engagement instead of homes. With delivery costs not being covered by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), participants can opt-in for group deliveries that allow that cost to be divided and much more manageable. GreenBasket’s team is comprised of IUPUI students Shreyas Patel, Drishti Dinesh Jogadia, Nisarg Hiteshkumar Rajpura and Aditya Suresh Nair.
“Food insecurity is one of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Drishti Dinesh from Team GreenBasket. “Working on the HungerTech Innovation Challenge to create a technology that can create positive change in this space is rewarding, and we look forward to working with AgriNovus to continue accelerating our solution.”
South Bend, Ind.-based Cultivate Food Rescue received a runner-up prize of $5,000 co-sponsored by AT&T and TechPoint. Their platform, ShelfLife, is a customer-facing software solution intended to connect the upstream food supplier and donor in the value chain with a Food Hub central organizer that can easily connect to downstream distribution centers (food pantries) and ultimately the pantry end-user. The company’s model is already in use and has helped to expand the amount of food rescued and distributed to over 2 million pounds per month. Cultivate Food Rescue’s team includes Jim Conklin and Maxxamillion Hamm.
Food Box, a student-led team from IUPUI, received an honorable mention for their solution. Comprised of students Sreemayi Reddy Rapolu, Ritu Harish Salian, Kshitij Patil and Ikshitha Reddy, the Food Box team developed a smart dispenser with healthy meals and snacks placed in food deserts to provide access to food and better nutrition. Items can be ordered on-site or pre-ordered via mobile app and picked up at any Food Box location.
In addition to Elevance Health, leaders from AT&T, Gleaners, Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, Shipt and TechPoint supported the challenge.
The HungerTech Innovation Challenge was informed by an AgriNovus study commissioned by the Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability at Purdue University. Tackling and Solving Food Insecurity with Private Sector Innovations identified the need for new technologies to drive connectivity between food access and populations experiencing food insecurity. Learn more about AgriNovus Indiana’s work on combatting food insecurity here.