A start-up that combines agriculture with technology was the first-place winner in the Boise Young Professionals b|launched third annual competition this week.
The b|launched program is a job-creation and new-business start-up initiative that matches established Boise entrepreneurs to young professionals with the goal of creating at least two new start-up companies. This was the competition's third year.
Four teams, each with two mentors and up to seven young professionals, competed for initial funding. The winner is a business named AgriGated. It will provide a mobile-device dashboard that aggregates and delivers multiple streams of customizable industry information to farmers. The team was awarded $20,000 in initial seed funding.
The winning team included David Hunt, Brett Kennedy, Tara Hamilton, Aaron Hansen, Jeff Johnson and Ratheesh Kaniyala.
"The Treasure Valley is a one-of-a-kind intersection of potato chip and microchip, and our team is excited to be part of Idaho's future in ag-tech," said Hunt, the team spokesman. "The opportunity to pitch our idea today and to get immediate feedback from such an outstanding panel of business leaders was immensely helpful to us."
Check, please., a one-click payment method for restaurant customers through a smartphone app that allows more secure and faster checkouts, took second place and will benefit from $10,000 in initial funding.
An additional $60,000 is available in follow-up funding by the end of 2014. Any of the 2014 teams are eligible.
The 2014 mentors were:
Æ David Gabrieli, a management consultant.
Æ Jefferson Jewell, The Caprock Group.
Æ Ken Holsinger, Klowd.com.
Æ Travis Hawkes, The Blue and Orange Store.
Æ Kristi Saucerman, AuctionFrogs.com.
Æ Mick Wiskerchen, entrepreneur.
Æ Aaron Stanton, Booklamp LLC.
Æ David Gardner, Electric Wholesale Supply.
This years judges were:
Æ AppDetex and b|launched founder Faisal Shah.
Æ Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bill Connors.
Æ J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation Executive Director Jamie MacMillan.
Æ Idaho Department of Commerce Director Jeff Sayer.
Æ Idaho Statesman Publisher Mike Jung.
Æ Dr. David Hill, chairman of the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission, or IGEM.
Æ Perkins Coie Partner Melanie Rubocki.
Æ Wells Fargo Senior Vice President and Regional Business Banking Manager Todd Cooper.
Æ Keynetics Partner Eileen Barber.
Æ Entrepreneurs Raino Zoller and Karen Meyer.