FarmSense, a company founded by UC Riverside computer science professor Eamonn Keogh and UCR alumnus Shailendra Singh, won second place at the Entrepreneurship World Cup U.S. National Finals. The prize was $10,000, and qualification for the Entrepreneurship World Cup, to be held later this year in Saudi Arabia.
“We are over the moon to get this validation and to move on to the final,” said Keogh.
FarmSense is commercializing an insect trap that uses artificial intelligence to identify insect types and relay that and other information to help farmers plan the best pest control interventions.
“As a professor I teach artificial intelligence, and our company applies artificial intelligence to insect classification,” said Keogh. “It’s very cool to be able to show my students what they learn in the lab can be directly applied to real world problems.”
To compete in the Entrepreneurship World Cup, startups enter competitions in their home countries by submitting a pitch deck and giving a three-minute pitch, followed by a five-minute question and answer session. Because of its size, the United States has eastern, western, and central regional competitions. FarmSense competed against 1300 West Coast teams and was one of three winners that moved on to the U.S. final competition between ten teams.
FarmSense won second place and $10,000. They will compete in the final held this October in Saudi Arabia for $500,000 and the interest of hundreds of big investors.
In the last year, FarmSense has won three NSF SBIR grants worth $1.2 million to commercialize the technology that Keogh’s lab has been working on since 2012. UC Riverside owns 2% of the company.