CropLogic wins award for potato tool
Canterbury company CropLogic has won the inaugural IBM ''SmartCamp'' award for its online tool for potato growers.
The start-up company, about two years old, was spun out of the Crown Research Institute Plant and Food which retains a 16 per cent shareholding.
The company provides an online tool which helps farmers decide the best timing for the use of water and nitrogen fertilizer for their potato crops.
The tool is used by about 50 growers contracted to international food processors such ConAgra Foods, Simplot, McCain foods, and Frito-Lay.
The company, the only New Zealand finalist in the award, will receive three months of mentoring from IBM, access to its software and services as well as contacts with industry experts and venture capitalists.
CropLogic chief executive Jane Hill said said the company was honoured to be the inaugural winner.
The online tool was developed by a team at Plant and Food and was the result of years of research.
CropLogic was now a separate and independent company which had so far raised about $1 million for its business and was looking to raise another $2m to $3m.
Hill said the company would be working with Powerhouse Ventures, an organisation specialising in finding venture capital, to do that.
That money would be used to expand the business which was still small and had five staff.
The IBM event, held in Sydney, aims to provide support, resources and networking for entrepreneurs who use business analysis, data and software technologies to produce innovative tools and products.