The AccuGrain team, led by founder Ryan Augustine, received a total of $30,000 in prize money to implement his business idea, which is X-ray technology to inventory flowing grain in real time. “This is really something that I saw on our family’s farm,” said Augustine. “When I was at Iowa State University, I came across a technology that was really a good fit for the idea that I had.”
Augustine says he is excited to be able now to enter the commercial market with his technology and appreciates the experience of competing in the Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. “It’s been really good for us because it’s made us focus on the individual parts of our business and what we need to do to be successful,” he said. “The cash prize is great but more than that it’s confirmation that what we’re doing is a good thing and people want it.”
Listen to my interview with Ryan here: [wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/afbf16-entrepreneur.mp3″ text=”Interview with Rural Entrepreneur of the Year”]
Another of the Final Four – Farm Specific Technology of Tennessee – won the People’s Choice award in the competition and an additional $10,000 in prize money for a no-till crimper for cover crop production. Members of the live audience at the finals competition and members of the general public voted online to select the People’s Choice winner. Tennessee residents cast the most votes (1,229) followed by Iowa (1,068) and Kansas (205). Farm Specific received almost half of the votes cast!