Soon after home-grown cannabis became legal in Colorado in 2014, the co-founders of Growlink spotted an inefficiency. "Growers were logging into all these different systems to control their environments," says co-founder and CEO Theodore Tanner. He and David Holmes, longtime friends who had previously built several other companies together, decided to launch a new startup that would make home growing easier. At first, they focused on making hydropods that could grow the maximum six plants allowed by home growers under state law. Soon, though, they realized that the hardware and software that allowed growers to control their growing environments had bigger potential as a business. They pivoted. Today, the Denver-based company's tech is used by six of the 10 largest cultivators in the U.S.
Growlink manufacturers all of its own hardware. Its tech lets farmers manage factors like light, temperature, and humidity all from one app. While the startup has gained a foothold in the cannabis industry, nearly a third of its business comes from food growers, including Plenty, Brick Street Farms, and Verdegreens, whose Houston operation is seen here. The startup has staff available 24/7 to help farmers should anything go awry. "These are companies where a single crop could be worth a million dollars, and they're relying on a five-year-old company to make sure that that goes off without a hitch," says Tanner. "So we earn that trust by being fanatical about support."
Growlink's platform analyzes yield data, helping farmers determine what conditions will maximize their outputs. Adjusting the temperature by half a degree or the humidity by a few percentage points could make all the difference between a good yield and a great yield--and the startup's software will do all the work. Delicious, leafy greens? There's an app for that.