Matija Kopić grew up on a large crop farm in Croatia, watching his father deal with the massive data sets and spreadsheets involved in running a successful farm. Kopić began studying computer science in 2005 and wondered how he could combine it with farming.
The result: Farmeron, a startup that helps farmers evaluate data in a simple way and figure out what's not working financially.
For now, Farmeron is focused on dairy cows and beef cattle. In one example, robotic milking "parlors" collect and send data on how much milk each cow is producing. Farmers can also track how much they're feeding each animal. Farmeron's slick online dashboard helps analyze that data in a snap.
"Farming is a business, and Farmeron helps put that business model in focus in real time," Kopić says. "How well is that animal performing, or that group of farms? Farmers have spent a lot of time on different tools to try to combine these very different data sets. We try to fix that."
The company charges a monthly fee of 25-45 cents per animal for the basic plan, though Kopić notes some of his customers are corporate producers who pay more for special extras.