A national business accelerator program includes a firm located in the Purdue Research Park.
Spensa Technologies makes an automated insect monitoring system for commercial agriculture. Kim Nicholson, vice president of business development, says that allows producers to better manage pesticide use. It also is designed to cut labor costs, because the traps can send the information to a computer or mobile device with wireless technology.
Spensa is one of 13 competing for two, $50,000 prizes in the Village Capital/VentureWell accelerator program. Nicholson says all of the companies are trying to boost their business.
“We’re doing what most startups do – just out there talking to a lot of people and interfacing with a lot of different groups that have interest in the technology or would like to see the technology develop.”
Nicholson says they made a limited number of units last year and sold all those, mostly to West Coast customers, but also to producers in Australia.
She says winning the $50,000 investment would help Spensa, but she knows they already have benefited from the process.
“We’ve learned a lot about the business and fine-tuned a lot of things. It’s interesting because you’re also being trained to think like an investor, so that sort of changes your mindset about how you look at your own business.”
The companies rank each other throughout the series of workshops and the top two performers receive funding. Nicholson says Spensa Technologies has been in the top two throughout the series of workshops, so far.
The accelerator program ends next week and the winners are announced during the IdeaFestival in Louisville Sept. 24-27.