US Small Business Administration honors West Lafayette company

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Creating a solar food dehydrator has served up national acclaim.

Five years after starting his company, Dr. Klein Ileleji has been recognized by the US Small Business Administration as one of the top small business exporters in the nation

JUA Technologies International – a company that aims at making drying food easy, safe and sustainable recentlywas recently named both the Indiana and Great Lakes Region Exporter of the Year.

In 2016, Dr. Klein and Dr. Reiko Ileleji, cofounded JUA Technologies International, which produces the Dehytray, a solar food dehydrator.

The idea behind the product intentionally came from research that Dr. Klein Ileleji conducted with the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University, trying to address food insecurity in developing countries.

Through his research, he found that was a significant need to develop an affordable method to dry fruits that had been harvested before they spoiled.

Klein Ileleji took his findings back to Purdue and created Dehytray, and began to sell his product to farmers in Asia and Africa.

Stacey Poynter, left, US Small Business Administration's Indiana District director, honors Dr.  Klein Ileleji, cofounder and CEO of JUA Technologies International LLC, with the award for Indiana and Great Lakes Region Exporter of the Year.  Geri Aglipay, US Small Business Administration's Great Lakes regional administrator, joined the celebration, on May 5, 2022, in West Lafayette.  JUA Technologies International created a solar food dehydrator.

“I created a dehydrator that encompasses all kinds of food,” Klein Ileleji said. “It’s small enough for the main crop, but it’s more important for the produce, and that is how it started. Once the technology was developed, the question is how do you take it to the people? And that’s when I started the company. “

Programs offered at Purdue University, such as the Purdue Foundry program, give startups a platform to experiment and develop next-market blueprints.

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