Big Data startup wins top spot at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015

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After days of presentations and deliberations, TechCrunch announced Wednesday winner of its Disrupt SF 2015 startup competition — Agrilyst, an agriculture company that uses big data to help out greenhouse farmers.

As the winner, Agrilyst will take home $50,000 and the Disrupt Cup. The competition began with 1,000 startups, narrowed down to 25 by TechCrunch. Then the 25 handpicked companies presented in front of panels of multi-industry judges, who narrowed down the field to six, which included four Bay Area startups.

Coming in second behind Agrilyst was cannabis-retail-store solution Green Bits, financial software company Leap Financial, smartphone “nail salon” Preemadonna, healthy school-lunch service Scrumpt and medical messaging app Stitch.

In her presentation, Agrilyst CEO Allison Kopf explained the challenges with greenhouse farming — those in charge need to deal with numerous variables including relative humidity, temperature, pH and more. Farmers tend to spend hours a day and thousands of dollars to record and interpret data, a problem Agrilyst hopes to solve.

As Kopf explained in her presentation, the data cannot interact with each other, which is where Agrilyst comes in. It features a dashboard and control panel for recording all types of data caught by sensors, and allows manual inputs as well. Further, it can recommend when to turn lights on and off to help owners save money on electricity. Using big data gives farmers an easier way to examine and cross-reference loads of information.

Agrilyst is currently in beta with a subscription price of $1,000 per acre, per month.

Runners up

Leap Financial: This B2B company hopes to make it easy for smaller startups to make sense of the various financial data they deal with on a daily basis. It interfaces with online accounting and CRM software to automatically generate reports on revenue, cost of customer acquisition, churn and more.

Scrumpt: What to pack for lunch is always a question (and hassle) for parents, and this startup created by a mother and daughter team hope to take the time and guesswork out of it. At a cost of $19 for three lunches or five for $24, the company works with well-regarded vendors and combines their offerings with healthy staples like fruit to create optimal healthy lunches. Some are likening it to a Tinder for lunch options.

Stitch: U.S. hospitals apparently waste $11 billion per year because of communication breakdowns, which is where Stitch, a Slack for healthcare messaging, comes in. It organizes channels for each patient and integrates with patient records and pertinent data.

This article was originally published in Digital Journal. Copyright 2015.

Flickr photo via Flickr, Creative Commons

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Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas is a staff editor at Digital Journal Inc. He is a graduate from Ryerson University's School of Journalism in Toronto. He also founded Grayowl Point, a Canadian music blog that's been online since 2009.