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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Food tech

Startup Bitponics Develops Device to Take Guesswork Out of Hydroponic Gardening

June 27, 2012 |

When Amit Kumar, co-founder of Bitponics moved from southern California to New York City, he gave up gardening, his passion since fourth grade. He lasted two years, before the gardening itch returned and he says he just, “missed having plants around.” Having heard that hydroponics was a good way to grow in a small indoor space, he tried out tomatoes and lettuce.

“It turns out that hydroponics requires a lot of maintenance if you want to do it well,” he says in a telephone interview.

From monitoring nutrients to providing the needed lighting, Kumar found the maintenance involved to be time consuming. As a software developer, who was starting to dabble in hardware, he began to think about how that maintenance could be automated.
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Chicago-based Vertical Aquaponic Co. Hopes to Use Tech to Help Scale Urban Ag to Meet Future Food Needs

June 27, 2012 |

Photo: 312 Aquaponics.

312 Aquaponics is a Chicago-based startup with its sights set high. The company, founded by four ambitious young entrepreneurs develops proprietary aquaponic systems that it hopes to implement in sustainable, commercial-scale indoor urban farms in cities across the globe. Looking to the visionary business practices of Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs for inspiration and determined to turn profits in the early development years, CFO and co-founder Mario Spatafora believes the company has established a strong foundation on which it can build. Read More

Ag Tech Firm, Solum, Raises $17 Million; Funding to Support Mission to Optimize Sustainable Food Production

June 27, 2012 |

News Release – MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jun 27, 2012 – Solum Inc., a leader in advanced field measurement technology for commercial agriculture, today announced the completion of $17 million in financing to support the company’s continued expansion in the global food production industry. Andreessen Horowitz led the round and General Partner John O’Farrell is joining the board. Existing investors including Khosla Ventures also participated in this round. Read More

Online Data Management Tool Helps Beekeepers Track Hives, Doesn’t Miss a Buzz

June 25, 2012 |

For beekeepers, it takes more than just the honey to make the money—and a viable beekeeping operation.

Good record keeping is necessary for efficient and sustainable beekeeping, industry professionals say. When a beekeeper goes out to his yard to inspect his hives, there are many details to track—how many hives are in each yard, which queens are in which hives, which medical treatments were applied and much more. When left to memory, facts can easily be forgotten. Meanwhile, paper notebooks can be misplaced or become disorganized. Read More

Startup Uses Crowd-sourced Data to Map Food Supply Chain in Effort to Help Consumers Find Sustainable Food

June 19, 2012 |

What do you get when you cross Yelp, Wikipedia and Twitter, GIS and sustainable agriculture? The answer is Food Sprout.

Food Sprout is an ambitious attempt by Linda Chang and Andrew Naber to map the world’s food supply chain. It aims to be a Wikipedia-like platform that brings transparency to the food chain by tracing the movement of our food. On it, consumers, farmers, restaurants, distributors, and anyone else who has a hand in bringing food from seed to stomach can track, share and receive information about their food’s origins. Read More