Hawaii’s First Agriculture-Tech Hackathon Provides Solutions to Challenges Facing Hawaii Agriculture

Posted on Jan 17, 2018 in News

Hawaii Technology Development Corporation
For Immediate Release: January 17, 2018

Winners Received Prizes and Business Offers from Local Growers

HONOLULU—The AGathon, Hawaii’s first agriculture-tech hackathon, wrapped up over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend with 10 teams participating. Four teams were recognized for outstanding solutions to problems currently facing Hawaii agriculture.

In first place, the Harvest Vision team took home $3,000 for their high-tech solution to better coffee harvesting by using an artificial intelligence camera to give immediate harvest data to operators in the field. The winning team combined the talent of Oceanit Labs, Kauai Coffee, and Kamehameha Schools. Kauai Coffee Company General Manager Fred Cowell said he would be pursuing rapid prototyping to begin system implementation in the fall harvest later this year. He anticipated the Harvest Vision system would increase coffee fruit recovery with an added value of nearly $250,000 per year. The system also showed promise for other food production and quality standards application.

Farm Safe took second place and $2,000 for their digital app solution that helps non-English speaking farmers access information and educational resources in their native languages.

Follow the Aina took third place and a $1,000 prize for their online tool that enables farmers to enter all the information required about their business and production, allowing any quality problems to be traced to the exact source, improving food safety and avoiding delays in detecting and correcting problems.

Honorable Mention went to Team Breadbox for a Turbo Tax-like solution that enables farmers to generate and file forms with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to demonstrate compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act and other regulations.

Teams were judged on likely effectiveness and feasibility of their solutions, how close to a working prototype they had come and the quality of their business model. The judges were Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Agriculture and Environment Committee, State Director of Agriculture Scott Enright, CEO of the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation Robbie Melton, Executive Director of Transform Hawaii Government Christine Sakuda, and Vice President of Investments Jesse Cook from Ulupono Initiative.

The event is sponsored by the State of Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Technology Development Corporation, Ulupono Initiative, the Transform Hawaii Government Coalition, Smart Yields, Whitmore Economic Development Group and Hawaii Open Data.

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About HTDC (Hawaii Technology Development Corporation)
HTDC is a state agency, attached to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). HTDC’s mission is to facilitate the development and growth of Hawaii’s high technology industry. HTDC is providing capital, building infrastructure and developing talent to foster innovation and diversify Hawaii’s economy. HTDC’s 80/80 Initiative is to create 80,000 new tech and innovation jobs that will provide high paying jobs for Hawaii residents.

Media Contacts:

Robbie Melton
Hawaii Technology Development Corporation
Office: (808) 539-3615
Website: www.htdc.org

Alyssa Amasol
Anthology Marketing Group
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Cindy Matsuki

Burt Lum