Dozens of startups participated in TechCrunch Disrupt 2015’s Startup Battlefield in San Francisco. Across two days, they pitched their companies to a rotating group of founders, VCs and other experts in the tech industry in the hopes of winning $50,000.
The winner this round? Agrilyst, a smart indoor gardening platform designed to help farmers get the most out of their crops.
“Indoor growers don’t have to worry about pesky deer, but they have to worry a lot about each and every controllable growing condition, because being able to control those conditions means controlling your profits,” founder and CEO Allison Kopf said.
Indoor farms include these sensors to account for light humidity and carbon dioxide levels, among other factors. Agrilyst offers an integrated platform to help farmers keep track of all of those sensors and data from within the indoor farm, so they can adjust for different conditions and project their expected yield.
Agrilyst syncs with hardware, can upload documents, and allow for manual input. The dashboard also tracks performance by crop and project harvest yield. The program also helps farmers save energy by helping them find ideal times to turn greenhouse lights on and off.
The startup is two months into a private beta, working with six different greenhouses. Those greenhouses are currently seeing 10 hours in time saving, as well as increased yield.
“It takes 10 times less land and 20 times less water to grow hydroponically,” Kopf added.
According to Kopf, the company makes $1, 000 per every square acre of farmland, and has a pricing structure that scales depending on farm size. While the company is currently focused on vegetables like tomato, cucumber and green pepper, Kopf indicated that the system could also accommodate growing flowers as well as marijuana (where legal).
That friendly green plant was also the focus of Disrupt Cup runner-up Green Bits, which offers a point-of-sale system that’s compliant with state restrictions and tracking measures of marijuana.
➤ And The Winner Of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015 Is… Agrilyst [TechCrunch]