Today we start a weekly blog to highlight the great companies that make up our 2017 Accelerator program. First up, meet HerdDogg!
Melissa Brandao and Duppy Proctor are the core team from HerdDogg, a company that has been called the “FitBit for cows”!
HerdDogg’s smart ear tag and reader for livestock, revolutionizes the two most essential tasks for any rancher: 1) identifying the cattle that make up his or her herds, and 2) monitoring the animals’ health round-the-clock. HerdDogg changes the game for ranchers and their herds when it comes to both of these tasks.
For centuries, herd health and well-being has been monitored by ranchers and farmers based purely on visual cues. Many of these workers are amazing at being able to detect important health markers in their animals — but herd animals instinctively hide their illnesses for up to three days as a means of protecting themselves from threats.
This makes it even more challenging for even the most experienced ranchers to visually detect a cow’s illness, heat cycles (called estrus), and other vital health and activity. Furthermore, growing herd sizes make visual assessment an increasingly challenging method of monitoring herd health and activity.
The HerdDogg model is a simple, three-part system: A lightweight, durable “DoggTag” replaces the RFID ID tags currently placed in the ears of cattle; a “DoggBone,” a small reader, collects data from the DoggTag and sends it to the cloud using bluetooth technology via a smart reader or cell phone; and the data is then accessible to ranchers from the web or a mobile app.
Thanks to HerdDogg’s ear tags and data, early detection of estrus and illness is possible like never before, saving ranchers time and money — and helping animals to get healthy faster. So far, HerdDogg technology is at work among herds on several continents, with great results.
When we asked Melissa about her time in Kansas City at the Sprint Accelerator, she told us her team has found the Sprint Accelerator Program to be very beneficial. Going into the program, they were excited to work with Dairy Farmer’s of America (DFA). Melissa tells us that finding that corporate partner to help them scale up has been at the top of their list — and the outcomes so far have been even better than she’d hoped for.
“I’ve been so impressed with the focus, resources and engagement DFA has committed to this. I hope the model for this program becomes the new model for the industry — with startups engaging with a corporate, strategic partner early on. Everyone benefits! It’s really a win win,” says Brandao.
Melissa also mentioned the benefits of being in Kansas City, saying, “It’s a strong ecosystem in KC. There is a sense of camaraderie and a ‘we’re in this together’ mindset. That’s not just among the startups, but also in corporations and VCs. The oars in the water are all rowing in the same direction. It’s pretty remarkable.”
We’re so excited to see HerdDogg progress through the rest of the accelerator program! Come meet the HerdDogg team and all our great companies on May 10th! Look for more information about our community event coming soon.