Oct 15, 2020Startup in NY Finger Lakes works on voice-to-data app for growers
Georgia-based software startup AgVoice – a 2019 Grow-NY finalist – announced plans recently to establish a headquarters office in New York’s Finger Lakes region, citing unparalleled resources offered by Cornell AgriTech and the Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture (COE), both in Geneva, New York.
The world’s first voice-to-data application for food and ag professionals, AgVoice is designed to enhance workflow, increase productivity and improve report accuracy and data completeness by allowing growers, producers, processors and manufacturers to put down their notepads or tablets and work hands-free, while on the go.
Touted by many as agriculture technology’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, AgVoice is navigated entirely by voice commands and boasts a unique lexicon, designed specifically to decipher food and agricultural terms, names and niche words. The AgVoice service allows individual field workers to gather and distribute important data in real-time directly to a geographically dispersed workforce for analysis and action.
The software, which will be embedded in smartphones and tablets, aims to solve supply chain and traceability challenges for the food and ag industry.
“Being a software and development company, we don’t always know where to focus funding or how to connect directly with new customers,” said Aaron Gobin, AgVoice co-founder and business development lead. “The COE has been instrumental in helping us answer those questions.”
Resources that make a difference
Since their initial meeting, the COE has introduced the AgVoice team to state and local representatives as well as private funders, encouraged the company to broaden their reach to include processors and manufacturers and connected them to business leaders.
One of these business leaders, Wegmans Food Markets, invited AgVoice leadership to speak at a February produce event, resulting in a project with the supermarket chain’s organic farm and orchard in Canandaigua, NY.
“We’ve learned that New York, and particularly the Finger Lakes region, really has the ultimate trifecta of resources for food, agriculture and ag tech businesses,” said Gobin. “From engaged state and local government leaders, collaborative centers like Cornell AgriTech and the Center of Excellence and access to world-class businesses like Wegmans, there truly is no place like it in the country.”
AgVoice is currently working to establish its physical presence in New York state before the end of the year. Initial plans will include the relocation of two staff members, with a goal of increasing its New York team to between 12 and 22 employees.
Catharine Young, COE executive director, was introduced to AgVoice through the Grow-NY competition and immediately recognized the company’s potential impact on the food and agriculture industry.
“The COE is committed to leveraging the unparalleled research of Cornell University to grow and position New York as a global leader in food and agriculture advancement,” said Young. “AgVoice is a wonderful addition to New York’s food and ag ecosystem, and we are excited to welcome them to the Empire State.”
– Carrie Carmenatty, Cornell University
Above, a crop inspector uses AgVoice to record data about sweet corn. Photo credit: AgVoice