IOWA -- Now-a-days the driver’s seat of a combine looks more like the cockpit of a plane. If something goes wrong it's not always easy to get fixed, and in farming time is money.
“There's a lot of new technology that farmers are having to deal with. The average age of farmers are still much older and there's new technology that is happening every day. Every time that they're down and not moving is potentially lost profitability to their farm, so how can they easily connect to their expert to get them back up and running?” said Bobby Godberson.
Godberson is the Director of Customer Success for what thousands of farmers use to answer that question, a tech start-up called AgriSync.
AgriSync is a virtual help desk of sorts that lets farmers send pictures and descriptions of their problems to a company expert and allows that expert to video chat with the farmer to walk them through the solution. But AgriSync has come a long way from what it started as five years ago, and part of that reason is their star intern…who just graduated high school.
Gautham Ajith was a student in Waukee's APEX program at the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center. AgriSync is officed in the center and Ajith caught their eye after he and his classmates designed an over-sized smartphone display for a school project.
“So that they can showcase it off at their trade shows, so [farmers] can understand really what the app is and how it's really helping [them] out,” said Ajith.
Ajith's internship has ended and he's headed to ISU in the fall, but he'll be working with AgriSync part-time. AgriSync agrees he has Silicon Valley talent but hopes that this opportunity and the APEX program will keep Iowa-grown talent in Iowa.
“It does kind of convince me to stay here in Iowa because there's a lot of great opportunities here that people don’t hear or really see that much, you really had to dig in through. AgriSync has really helped me see a future in Iowa,” said Ajith.
Ajith has a busy summer before starting class. In June he's heading to northern India to work on a project installing irrigation systems in rural villages.