FarmLogs is bringing software and technology to a sector of the economy not know for early adoption - agriculture.
The Ann Arbor-based start-up is creating online-based, farm-management software with an eye toward helping farmers make better business decisions. The idea was born in Silicon Valley, the brainchild of two Michigan ex-patriots, and first incubated at the famed Y Combinator
a little more than a year ago. It found well-known investors on the West Coast and was poised to become the next posterchild for Silicon Valley start-ups when it did something unconventional. It moved back to Michigan.
"We decided the right move for us was to move back to Michigan, right here in Ann Arbor," says Jesse Vollmar, CEO & co-founder of FarmLogs
Vollmar and Brad Koch grew up in a rural area in Michigan's thumb and received computer information degrees from Saginaw Valley State University in early 2012. They saw firsthand how farmers were keeping their records by hand and making important business decisions off gut feelings. There were few, if any, computers and even less analytical data.
"They don't have the software tools to plan the business and manage their results," Vollmar says. "That's what we provide."
Those tools organize the farmer's data, helps them create financial models, figure out how best to plant fields, and when to bring their crops to market and which market presents the best value. The bottom line is to help them maximize production, efficiency and profits.
"We want to be thought of as the company that is leading innovation in agriculture," Vollmar says.
That idea has help propel FarmLogs to raising a $1 million angel round. It now employs four people and is in the process of hiring two more now. It expects to bring on even more as it starts to accelerate its growth with Ann Arbor as its base. And the reason for relocating Ann Arbor were pretty self-evident for Vollmar and Koch.
"Ann Arbor has a better start-up culture and vibe that we thought would be better for attracting talent," Vollmar says.
Source: Jesse Vollmar, CEO & co-founder of FarmLogs
Writer: Jon Zemke