Jesse Vollmar, cofounder and CEO of Ann Arbor-based FarmLogs, and Bill Pulte, CEO of Pulte Capital Partners in Bloomfield Hills and founder of the Detroit Blight Authority, were named Monday by Forbes magazine to its annual “30 Under 30” list.
“I think that the big reason for being on the list is that (FarmLogs is) doing something that can be recognized as innovative and impactful,” Vollmar says. “That’s why my cofounder (Brad Koch) and I have been building this company. We want to make the world a better place with more efficient farm technology.”
Vollmar’s software, used by farms in 50 states and 121 countries, can log and track field activities such as planting, fertilizing, and harvesting using a GPS-enabled mobile app or browser. Farmers can then review the crop history to make more informed decisions regarding crop rotation and other farming decisions.
Pulte, who has worked to rid the city of Detroit of large swaths of abandoned buildings, is the grandson of William Pulte, who founded Pulte Homes Inc. in Detroit in 1950. The younger Pulte is part of a team that aims to remove all of the blight in Detroit over the next three years.
For those hoping to launch their own tech startup, Vollmar, who grew up on a farm in Caro, northeast of Flint, recommends focusing on something they’re passionate about. “It’s not always about getting rich quick. It’s about finding something that you can really commit to.”
Looking forward, Vollmar expects a summer release for the ISOBlue.org, an open source project that forwards data from farm machinery over Bluetooth. He adds the company will roll out other crop planning tools in the coming weeks. “It’s going to help people breakdown the cost of production and find their profitability. We’re also (adding technology) that will automatically detect what crop should be planted next based on the history we have for the fields,” he says.
FarmLogs will likely increase its staff size from nine to 19 employees by the end of the year, Vollmar says.