Business Startup Spotlight: provides an IoT solution, combining smart sensors, a cloud based data analytics platform, and an integrated visualization, which compiles environmental data in an easy to use interface, allowing for immediate action to be taken.

Tom Rump


Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina


Product / Service Offering: Providing compiled environmental data in an easy to use interface

CEO Interviewed: Tom Rump

Other Key Management Team Members: Mike Prorock, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer; Dave Meyerson, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

This article is part of our Business Startup Spotlight series featuring entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope that these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.

Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.

I enjoy bringing market leading products to market and growing businesses.

When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?

Mike Prorock bought a farm and was looking for in-ground actionable data, which did not exist. He created the solution.

What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers? provides an IoT solution, combining smart sensors, a cloud based data analytics platform, and an integrated visualization, which compiles environmental data in an easy to use interface, allowing for immediate action to be taken. We change the way the world measures and interacts with environmental data.

After you plant, it automatically calibrates and begins transmitting relevant data (light, soil moisture, ground and surface temperature, etc.) to our platform. The analytics platform analyzes the data, combines it with other sources of information such as soil and plant databases, satellite imagery and weather forecasts to make concise recommendations. Our product also has the capability to automate processes such as irrigation. Additionally, works with all sorts of sensor data, and can leverage your existing data to help enable smarter decisions, savings in labor, water, and raw materials.

What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?

We provide real time actionable data such as temperature, moisture levels, sunlight levels, soil resistance, and humidity. Our competitors do not. We work with a variety of industries including golf & turf management, smart agriculture, and small farms and gardens while also working on future industry solutions.

7 Steps to Assess Your Concept’s Competitive Environment

What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?

The first biggest challenge we faced was synthesizing disparate data into an easy to understand and easy to use solution. The second biggest challenge was initial raising of external funding.

TurboFunder can help Start, Grow, and Fund your Startup!

What resources have you utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?

At The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) based in Durham, we worked with Jay Bigelow. On the technology side, we have strategic relationships with Qlik and Cloudera, both of which accelerated our technology differentiation.

What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?

We have presented to Angel Investment groups and the economic development arms of both North Carolina and Maryland. Starting over, I would have started external fund raising sooner.

8 Things the Founders Must Know for their Pitch to an Angel Group

What questions have you had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?

I would not say that we had a hard time finding answers. Sometimes the answers we were awaiting took far longer than we would have preferred. As a start-up, we are moving very fast. Others may have a different pace.

What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?

Currently we are working on an interesting dilemma, which is that our demand is outstripping our supply.

What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?

Continue to cast your funding net and do not stop until the money is in the bank.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?

We are beginning to gain considerable traction. We have been selected to present at the CED Tech Venture Conference in September 2017. Please check us out on YouTube.

Are you familiar with other startups you believe should be spotlighted? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them in the comments below!


Sandra Sloan

Sandra has previous supply chain and business operations experience which she is leveraging as an author with FundingSage focused on spotlighting entrepreneurs and their startup efforts.