As entrepreneur extraordinaire Kermit the Frog put it, “It isn’t easy being green.”
Maybe Kermit should stick to being a Muppet, because being green was obviously an advantage at this year’s TechCrunch Startup Battlefield.
TechCrunch Startup Battlefield is an opportunity for early-stage startups to compete against one other on the same stage for a $50,000 prize, as well as media and investor attention. It’s kind of like The Hunger Games, but with more software stuff, and without the awkward executions.
Out of approximately 1,000 applications, 25 were chosen to present in front of a panel of judges. Of the 25, six finalists were chosen. Those finalists were:
- Greenhouse data sensor Agrilyst.
- Point-of-sale solution for cannabis retail stores Green Bits.
- Corporate finance reporting software Leap Financial.
- Nail art robot Preemadonna.
- School lunch service Scrumpt.
- Slack for healthcare Stitch.
In the end, it came down to Agrilyst and Green Bits, with Agrilyst taking home the prize.
Notice a theme?
Both Agrilyst and Green Bits bring organization and analysis to somewhat chaotic “green” (as in plants) industries.
Agrilyst essentially functions as a Google Analytics for greenhouses, which usually generate a disorganized hodgepodge of data. While most greenhouses have CO2, light, humidity, and other sensors installed to record data digitally, other measurements are taken by hand and jotted down in a notebook, never integrated with the data collected by the sensors.
Agrilyst brings all the data together into a clean, easy-to-read dashboard, which even includes harvest schedules. In the future, Agrilyst plans on developing their own hardware sensors which will give growers even more insights into their production. They also plan on building a recommendation engine into the software that leverages all the compiled data to help optimize operations.
Green Bits brings Point Of Sale technology to an industry usually known for parking lot deals by dudes with the munchies. The company gives cannabis retailers iPad registers (like Square), precise inventory control, and automated compliance. With the legal marijuana industry absolutely exploding, it’s not difficult to see why Green Bits is achieving significant success.
These days, everyone is interested in data. Companies like Splunk generate billions in revenue by being able to explore, organize, and analyze the massive amounts of data being vomited out by servers, emails logs, apps, and the like. Agrilyst is hoping to rake in the cash by offering similar services to those in the greenhouse industry.
Green Bits is bringing Point Of Sale technology to an industry that, traditionally, has operated on the outskirts of the law. By being one of the first on the scene, they stand to make a truckload of cash.
Maybe it’s not easy being green, but it sure could be lucrative.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s 4:20 somewhere…
Featured image courtesy of TechCrunch
Stephen Altrogge is a freelance writer based in Tallahassee, Florida. He writes about tech, marketing, faith, and lots of other things. He’s married to Jen and has three young girls. Every day he consumes more coffee than the entire population of Colombia. He knows more about Star Wars than any respectable man should, and he runs more than any sane man would. He once attempted to eat a 2 pound hamburger in under an hour. He failed.
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