AcreCloud is a startup maximizing efficiency on farms by providing farm management software tools to farmers and farm laborers.
The idea for the startup originated when co-founder Elias Cabrera took over his family’s 800-acre pistachio farm and realized the farm was not running as efficiently as it could be. There were no data-tracking systems in place, which made it difficult to make informed decisions about which crops to plant or harvest — so Cabrera, who had a background in mechanical engineering, began to develop a platform to organize work orders.
Cabrera eventually presented the idea to Jim Cogan, who had previously worked in economic development, and together, they set out to build AcreCloud.
AcreCloud technology currently allows users to track work orders and expenses, but will soon expand to include purchasing and payroll, according to Cogan, the startup’s COO.
Shortly after the startup was founded, AcreCloud participated in AngelCon, an annual competition hosted by the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) where tech-driven startups on the Central Coast compete to win equity- backed funding.
AcreCloud won the competition and was awarded $135,000 in equity investment.
Following their win at AngelCon, AcreCloud joined the CIE Incubator, a two-year program designed to help early-stage startups develop into financially stable and scalable businesses. The program provides participating startups with resources that can help facilitate growth, such as mentorship and networking opportunities.
“AngelCon was our first introduction to the Incubator, and we made such great connections with mentors and impressive, high-level folks in software and innovation,” Cogan said. “It was a no-brainer to join the Incubator and get to spend time with those folks.”
Incubator programming also includes monthly peer-to-peer roundtable discussions, which allows entrepreneurs to learn from one another and build community.
“Misery loves company, but so does success,” Cogan said. “You wind up celebrating with (other entrepreneurs) and leveraging each other’s networks. On our in-person days, I spend a lot of time talking with my fellow entrepreneurs.”