When Eduardo Torrealba, BS ’11, and his wife, Lisa, BS ’10, left Waco after graduation, they were given a small basil plant as a going-away present. Upon arrival at their new home in Illinois, where Eduardo was beginning grad school, they began to look for a product that would monitor the soil moisture level so they would know when the plant needed watering. One problem: They couldn’t find a good one out there. So, Eduardo decided to simply build his own.
Recognizing that others might desire such a product as well, Torrealba and four other former and current University of Illinois graduate students — four of them Baylor graduates — have since formed a company, Oso Technologies, to turn that initial hacked-together version into something they could take to market.
Now known as Plant Link, the system monitors soil moisture level for plants and sends an e-mail or text message when the plant needs water. Through use of a smart valve, it can even automatically water the plant when needed. (See video below.)
Torrealba and his Oso Technologies team — including Michael Clemenson, BS ’10, Trevor Hutchins, BS ’09, and Bradley Sanders, BS ’10 — launched a 30-day fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.com last month that has reached its $75,000 goal with a week to spare. The funding will allow one of the team members to move from part-time to full-time and help move Plant Link into production.
The four alums aren’t the company’s only links to Baylor. “Oso,” of course, is the Spanish word for “bear”, and a Baylor business professor, Dr. Greg Leman, has served the company in an advisory role. And before the Kickstarter effort, some of the project’s early support came from the Baylor Angel Network, an investor group that provides early stage capital to entrepreneurs.
Sic ’em, Plant Link and Oso Technologies!
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