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AgTechLogic Founder Tom Gauthier on Making Farming Smarter and More Sustainable

Introduction

Food demand is expected to increase substantially over the next 28 years due to an increased population and climate change. While herbicides can play an important role in improving crop yield, they can also cause pollution and potentially exacerbate the issue. Finding a balance between protecting crops and protecting the environment is becoming more essential than ever.

AgTechLogic is working on a smart technology solution that can reduce the use of chemicals while still helping crops grow. Its technology can detect weeds and deploy chemicals only where necessary, as opposed to spraying chemicals over a broad area. We reached out to co-founder and CEO Tom Gauthier to hear more about AgTechLogic’s beginnings and future plans.

Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length. 

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

In your own words, how would you describe your company?

Tom Gauthier

We are a company dedicated to providing innovative solutions today and well into the future to improve the way we grow food, provide a strong return for our farmers and investors, and have a positive impact on the environment.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

What inspired you to take the leap and start this company?

Tom Gauthier

My grandfather was a farmer. My father farmed at a young age, and I realized I could take my passion and talent to build a team and company that can make a large impact. Our farmers need practical innovative solutions. We need to find ways to make food more affordable and make an impact today on the environment.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

Who is on your team and how did you come together?

Tom Gauthier

Everyone on the team has come to AgTechLogic through a desire to make a positive impact on farming and find a group of people that they would enjoy working with while being an owner in something innovative. Alberto and I have known each other for years at church and Boy Scouts. His background in agriculture and mine in technology and business just clicked. 

Todd and I worked together in the past, and he reached out to me to see what I was doing, and he was immediately interested. Tong happened to join one of our investors at a demonstration of the technology, and he was immediately interested in leaving what he was doing to lead research and development (R&D) with his 30 years of tech innovation. Tony and I met through our wives and immediately had a connection. Tony has more than 30 years of successful sales experience, and I needed someone who knew sales and agriculture customers. 

Ally happens to be my cousin’s daughter, but she’s incredibly bright and working on her master’s degree in botany. She was very interested in the research we needed to fortify our solutions. Amy and I met more than three years ago when the company was young. She was running her own marketing firm, and I asked her to bring her talent and skills to help us get the word out and grow the marketing department. She agreed… and also agreed to marry me in 2020. 

Erik and I met through a shared friend, and his background in agriculture, chemistry, biology and tech created an immediate connection. Don and I met through our children, and Don jumped on board with his 30 years of technology and systems knowledge to work to lead our information technology. And that’s not everyone involved, as we are continuing to see fast growth.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

How is AgTechLogic transforming the farming and agriculture industry?

Tom Gauthier

We are bringing practical and proven solutions to farmers today while investing in innovation for the future transformations that are needed to feed the world with less land and resources. We identify, research, test, design, deploy, and support technologies that can add new capabilities to farmers, reduce costs, and help them to be more sustainable and improve the environment. We also collaborate with farmers and universities to “fit” our technologies to the use cases of today and develop use cases for the future. We are investing in technologies and bringing technology that works todaylike artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Internet of Things, to name a fewinto current systems and designing lower-cost and more robust solutions to meet the growing demands.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

What does the competitive landscape look like, and how do you differentiate?

Tom Gauthier

First, the market is so vast, and that leaves a lot of opportunity. There is more demand and solutions than there are engineers, technologists, and agronomists available today to work on. Getting more tactical, we do see others working on some similar technologies, but we’ve done our research and see that our solutions are more advanced and can provide a faster return. We differentiate in that we are nimble, bring a diverse set of talent, and collaborate with farmers and universities heavily, but the biggest thing we bring is a passion that I’ve not seen from a growing agtech company.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

How do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?

Tom Gauthier

AgTechLogic has been very fiscally responsible and prepared a detailed plan for all spending that is highly focused on (1) increasing sales through the use of demonstration systems, marketing and direct sales meetings; (2) R&D investment to move our V2.0 of our Intelligent Precision Sprayer (IPS) sensors to the next stage and prepare for production by the end of 2022; and (3) continue to support university collaboration in IPS for additional crop fit.

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?

Tom Gauthier

We are in a massive market opportunity, and the rising costs of herbicides, the lack of herbicide supply, and increased fuel costs greatly improve our return on investment for farmers and investors. Our technology works today and can make an impact now. In addition, we have a long-term detailed road map for future patents on the next versions of our solution. We have a very passionate team that will not stop. We believe that we can significantly reduce the use of chemicals to grow more food, and that is good for everyonefarmers and investors. We also know that we can make a positive impact on the earth (soils).

Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? Have you set any future goals for the company?

Tom Gauthier

As we move toward the five- to 10-year goals, we intend to acquire other technologies and companies that support our mission while preparing to go public. Then, as we enter the five- to 10-year mark, we will consider being acquired by a larger entity, as we’ve seen this happen in our industry.

We look forward to seeing where Tom and his team take the company. AgTechLogic is currently raising on StartEngine.

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About: Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau

Léa is passionate about impact investing and sustainability. Prior to KingsCrowd, she worked for Stanford’s accelerator, StartX, helping to select the most promising entrepreneurs. She also led the first award-winning study on the Malawian startup ecosystem. In her free-time, she volunteers to help entrepreneurs in Cameroon, Brazil and Colombia. Léa holds a degree in Anthropology from France and is currently enrolled in the UC Davis MBA program.

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