By Pam Kan-Rice
A gardening and produce-sharing app took top prize in the Apps for Ag Hackathon, after contestants pitched judges at the California State Fair in Sacramento on July 17. The first place team, GivingGarden, took home $7,500 in prize money, custom rodeo belt buckles, and a membership to the AgStart Incubator in Woodland.
The hyper-local, produce-sharing app provides gardening advice from the UC Master Gardener Program and enables backyard gardeners to connect with others who want to share their produce. The GivingGarden team members are Scott Kirkland, Josh Livni, Deema Tamimi and John Knoll.
Second place was awarded to Sense and Protect, a mobile task-management app that connects to climate sensors to protect farmworkers’ health and enhance their productivity. Sense and Protect team members Dhrubajyoti Das, Alex Avalos, Anthony Johnson and Peter Swanson shared $4,500.
Third place went to ACP STAR System, a geo and temporal database and platform for tracking Asian citrus psyllid and other invasive pests. Team members Mark Takata and Chinh Lam shared $2,500.
The top three teams also will receive complimentary start-up incorporation services valued at $2,200 from Royse Law Firm in San Francisco.
Compostable, which finished in fourth place, is an app and “Internet of Things” (IoT) device that diverts food waste from landfills and turns it into fertilizer and fuel so that it can be used on a farm. Sohail Han, Nathan Azevedo, Brandon Jack, Regan King and Raheela Khan make up the Compostable team.
All of the participating teams had about 48 hours to develop their apps. Teams that were interested were offered $500 in “cloud credits” to build their solutions and host them on Amazon Web Services’ platform. Teams also had access to an IoT kit to incorporate connected devices into their solution.
The Apps for Ag Hackathon, which was sponsored by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, the California State Fair and the city of Sacramento, brought together software developers, designers, entrepreneurs, farmers and others who work in agriculture.