IRVINE, CALIF. (November 3, 2021) – Hands-free access to digital technology is a ubiquitous problem in the agriculture industry, said Bruce Rasa, CEO and Co-founder of AgVoice, and his company’s solution to the issue was just awarded a patent three months ago. AgVoice is the world’s first voice-to-data service that allows farmers and the ag specialists that support them to capture fast, accurate in-field insights on-the-go.
In the most recent episode of Voices of the Valley, the podcast hosted by Dennis Donohue, the Director of Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology, and Candace Wilson, VP of Business Development at GreenVenus, Rasa said overcoming the initial challenges after founding AgVoice – including the seasonality of agriculture and fundraising – was helped by affiliating with Western Growers.
“A big catalyst for us was the AgSharks competition,” he said. “The combination of access to capital from Western Growers and S2G Ventures was massively helpful to us, and still is to this day.” AgVoice received $250,000 in funding in 2017.
Now, Rasa said the technology is expanding to meet the real-world needs of farmers. “I jokingly say that what we’re trying to do is not what Siri does,” Rasa said. “Siri – and Google, and Amazon, too, with Alexa – have taken on very, very hard, broad challenges in ‘What are all consumers thinking?’ and ‘What are those patterns?’ We’ve been very narrow, just focusing on these users’ needs. We support English today, Spanish is up next, and what we’ve learned through our work with Western Growers’ ecosystem is the 10 different dialects of Spanish that are spoken depending on where a person is from in Mexico. There are different nuances that needs to be accommodated.”
Voices of the Valley is produced by Western Growers and its Center for Innovation & Technology. The embed code for this week’s episode is below:
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