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The original item was published from 2/12/2018 4:48:38 PM to 3/7/2018 3:48:48 PM.

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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: February 12, 2018

[ARCHIVED] The Launch Place invests in IoT company

The Launch Place logo

A new company will be joining the diverse portfolio of The Launch Place in February. Chapel Hill-based, an internet of things (IoT) company that focuses on providing ag-based businesses with automated data tracking and analytics, received a $200,000 seed investment. This partnership makes The Launch Place’s thirteenth venture since 2014.

The Launch Place, a nonprofit investment group supporting startups in the Dan River Region of Virginia and North Carolina, selected due to the position their technology holds in the market and’s persistence in developing early stage partnerships.

“The management team at is committed, experienced, and open to receiving feedback,” says Eva Doss, President and CEO of The Launch Place. “We are impressed with their technology, early pilots, and customers.” combines environmental measurements with advanced analytics, using in-ground sensors along with the cloud-based data hub Cloudera to make it easier for clients to collect data on ground conditions and needs. This data enables clients to manage their turf or crop, reduce labor costs, and maximize output. With insights collected, users can receive recommendations in real time on water consumption, fertilization, and potential threats.

The concept was born from real life struggles of the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Mike Prorock, when he purchased a farm in Carrboro, NC. As he cultivated his land, Prorock searched for a tool that would show him what was going on below the surface of the soil. With no suitable device on the market, he decided to create one.

Currently,’s technology has been used for golf and turf management, smart agriculture, and small farms and gardens. However, mining and vineyard management are possibilities for future endeavors.

“Our core focus is to help the small to mid-size farmer,” says CEO Tom Rump, mentioning how their technology has helped one of their earlier clients, a mushroom farmer, regulate the humidity, light, and temperature in his greenhouse.

To date, has successfully piloted their technology and are serving seven customers in their target areas. According to, they have seen their technology help companies lower their personnel costs up to 30 percent.

As part of their partnership with The Launch Place, has opened an office in Danville, VA, which will create several new jobs and generate economic growth within the region.

Rump believes that Danville will provide an ideal environment for the company’s continued development. “We look forward to using the entrepreneurial infrastructure that The Launch Place provides, as well as their space and business development experience to grow and give back to the region,” says Rump.

On top of the investment, is celebrating another win this month as they attend the nationally renowned accelerator program Techstars in Austin, TX. This 90 day program, which kicked off in late January, brings in ten companies from a thousand applicants to undergo fundamental business acumen training, ramp up tech skills, and meet with advisors.

The Launch Place

The Launch Place, from a $10 million grant received from the Danville Regional Foundation in 2012, assists with entrepreneurship and business development, and job creation and retention through its business consulting, mentoring and training, residential and office subsidies, and two seed investment funds in the Dan River Region of Virginia and North Carolina.


In order to fill a gap in the golf and agricultural market, provides cost-effective and easy to use technology that utilizes in-ground sensors, satellites, weather data, and analytics to provide insight into ground conditions and needs. Clients can manage the water, fertilization, and risks their crops face without the need of additional personnel.

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