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Consumers are demanding more transparency within the food supply chain

Old methods of in-field data capture are ripe for replacement by smart technology

Adoption of technology in agriculture is entering a growth phase

A new generation of ag professionals is embracing new technology

Retailers need enhanced traceability of the food supply chain for safety and security

For ag professionals working outdoors, voice-interaction provides a breakthrough in convenience

Insights gained via new technologies will enable smarter use of water, fertilizer and pesticides

TekWear LLC, the development company behind AgVoice, was founded in 2014 to explore the use of mobile technology to improve sustainability, productivity and accuracy of data capture in the agriculture/food supply chain. Through industry research and customer interviews, we have learned much about the need for information and the challenges agriculture  professionals face in accurately capturing analyzing and using this data.  Our passion is to pioneer and deliver best of class services to benefit customers in the food and agriculture industry, consumers and the world.

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AgVoice is a mobile voice-interaction service designed for food and agriculture professionals to capture insights on the go. Combining the learnings from 12 months of exploration and customer feedback, it is scheduled for launch in 2016.

By using proprietary analytics and processing of raw voice files including captured time stamps and location data, users can improve productivity and workflow management, increase documentation accuracy, and gain valuable insights to optimize the use of resources in crop and animal production for a sustainability and environmental impact.

AgVoice is designed for use across the food and agriculture ecosystem, including livestock and crop production, agronomy, animal health and wellness, and machinery repair.

Company Milestones

2013 – Bruce launches ag-tech mobile service for remote management control and monitoring of agriculture equipment from a smart phone or tablet

2013 – Bruce is chosen as a pioneer of Google Glass in ag, researched usage with more than 600 ag professionals from 22 countries

2014 – TekWear is founded

2014 – TekWear wins USDA grant to study mobile technology in agriculture

2015 – TekWear selected as final three in Village Capital Ag Tech Accelerator

2015 – U.S. and International patents applied for key technology

2015 – Voted among the top four tech startups in Georgia

2015 – First customers signed up to field test AgVoice

2015 – TekWear accepted to present AgVoice at the Kansas City Animal Health Investment Forum and Ag Innovation Showcase, both to be held in September 2015

AgVoice service selected by The Yield Lab to participate in selective nine-month ag technology accelerator program

Innovative voice recognition service to receive $100,000 in funding, plus networking, mentorship and ag-specific curriculum for duration of program

 

ATLANTA, Georgia (January 29, 2016) – AgVoice, an innovative voice interaction service created by Atlanta, Ga.-based technology startup TekWear LLC, was selected by agriculture technology business accelerator The Yield Lab to participate in a nine-month program designed to support emerging ag tech companies. AgVoice was selected as one of seven out 120 applicants from 26 countries to participate in the program.

AgVoice is a hands-free workflow management service that helps ag professionals capture insights while on the move. The platform can be utilized seamlessly by producers in the field, allowing them to record and process raw data files for use in analytics and note-taking, while also providing such necessary features as time stamps and location tracking to improve productivity and workflow management.

“We’re honored to be selected by The Yield Lab to participate in the program as one of its portfolio companies, and we’re ready to take full advantage of the tremendous business development resources they offer,” says Bruce Rasa, CEO at TekWear LLC. “It was important for our team to find a partner with ag tech as their top priority, and we feel that we’ve found an excellent match to further enhance AgVoice, which is projected to launch later this year.”

The insights and data that AgVoice provides to producers helps them meet an increasing array of government reporting mandates and answers food retailer questions on food traceability, as well as consumer questions regarding where and how their food was safely grown. The service is perfect for agriculture professionals in a wide variety of roles, including agronomists, plant scientists, veterinarians and machinery repair specialists, among others.

Based in St. Louis, Mo., The Yield Lab is the nation’s first and largest agriculture technology business accelerator, maintaining its focus entirely on investing in early-stage development of ag tech companies that offer creative and innovative solutions in the agriculture industry. The Yield Lab provides mentorship, networking and funding to hand-selected companies during a nine-month period, all while in the heart of the country’s ag tech industry.

“AgVoice is a service that we see contributing a great deal to the agriculture industry, making it a perfect fit as one of our seven portfolio selections in 2016,” says Matt Plummer, principal at The Yield Lab. “The hands-free, voice-interactive technology that the platform offers has the potential to fundamentally shift the way food and agriculture professionals capture usable insights and data.”

The Yield Lab’s program began on January 26 at the Helix Center in St. Louis. For more information on AgVoice, visit http://www.agvoiceglobal.com/.

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Based in Atlanta, Georgia, AgVoice is an agricultural technology company focused on developing voice-interactive technology solutions that provide value to agriculture professionals and their trusted partners around the world. These solutions encompass a variety of business sectors across the food and agriculture ecosystem, including livestock and crop production, agronomy, animal health and wellness, and machinery repair.

The Team

Bruce Rasa

Bruce Rasa

CEO

“I want to bring the power of technology to the farms and ranches to solve simple problems, enabling ag professionals to produce healthy food for the needs of a growing global population.”

Bruce was raised in western Missouri, where his family actively farms over 3,500 acres. He has over 20 years of experience in tech leadership positions at IBM, NCR & AGCO. He led solution management and marketing teams for multi-billion dollar product lines. In a previous corporate role he launched and marketed a mobile service for remote management control and monitoring fleets of agriculture equipment from a smart phone or tablet. For TekWear, Bruce provides a vision which foresees increased use of hands-free enabled technology and powerful cloud data analytics within everyday farming and ranching operations for delivering expanded utility and continuous ease-of-use.

Bruce has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Economics from the University of Missouri and an MBA from the University of North Carolina.

Erick Kobres

Erick Kobres

CTO and Co-Founder

“There is something special about bringing technology innovation to an industry that still implements a vast amount of manual processes. With TekWear we have researched the best technologies already in existence, and have begun a journey of leveraging these existing and proven platforms and enhancing them with proprietary technology of our own – this takes the entire platform to a next level ease-of-use service for the widest adoption within global ag, preserving our first-mover advantage.”

Erick Kobres, CTO and Co-Founder, has been leading software innovation for over two decades in the Travel, Financial, Hospitality & Retail sectors, at companies including NCR.  He brings substantial experience as a CTO to TekWear and understands the importance of the entire experience for consumer level solutions. With twenty-one software/solution development patents to his name, Erick is a proven innovator who will lead TekWear in the development of ground-breaking solutions for Animal Health & Agriculture professionals. He also brings significant software startup experience to the team.

John Swansey

John Swansey

Chief Design Officer and Co-Founder

The true measure of any technology is how it helps people to improve their lives and be more successful. This is the core belief that keeps me focused. We are breaking new ground with the use of voice input – getting direct feedback from users is instrumental to developing our service. You can see on their face when they realize the potential of our system to improve their work life.”

John Swansey, Co–founder and Chief Design Officer is responsible for engineering the total user experience. Formerly with IBM and Lenovo, he has had many hands-on and leadership design roles including Director of Design and User Experience.  He led design for a wide range of commercial and consumer electronics products, including many under the award-winning ThinkPad brand. A Harvard engineering graduate, John received a master’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, one of the world’s prominent design institutions. His work has been recognized internationally with over 45 design and innovation awards and 35 patents.  John will be creating, testing  and refining all aspects of the user experience for TekWear.

Aaron Gobin

Aaron Gobin

Chief Revenue Officer and Co-Founder

“My passion is for solving the critical connection between our customers and our technology innovation. Developing relationships with customers large and small with the mindset of truly understanding them is key to building lasting engagement. I enjoy visiting farm communities and meeting customers within global ag. Helping customers enhance their bottom-line and daily operational efficiency with our technology is the overall goal.”

Aaron Gobin is Chief Revenue Officer and Co-founder.  He spent more than a decade in corporate roles specializing in enterprise sales, creation of indirect channels, business development & program management.  His biggest customer was Walmart where he achieved a multi-million dollar revenue outcome. Aaron is TekWear’s key liaison with our large customers and business partners as we define our services, tailor them for the ag industry, and plan key metrics for measuring effectiveness and executing enhancements.

Aaron has a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Florida State University.

 

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