NUtech Ventures 2021 Startup Company of the Year: TurfGrade
The Startup Company of the Year award went to TurfGrade. The award recognizes a startup company — founded by Nebraska faculty, staff or students — that has made significant progress in becoming a sustainable business.
TurfGrade is led by Bill Kreuser, formerly a Nebraska agronomist. The company is using a software platform to make turfgrass management simpler and more sustainable. Among other features, the platform provides guidance for applying fertilizer and plant growth regulators.
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[00:00:05.460]- So, my name is Bill Kreuser.
[00:00:06.293]I am the president of TurfGrade.
[00:00:08.133]And, I'm a superintendent
at Jim Ager Golf Course
[00:00:11.580]here in Lincoln, Nebraska.
[00:00:13.140]So, Green Keeper App was built in 2015.
[00:00:16.430]And, it was originally
this idea of helping engage
[00:00:20.015]our golf course superintendents
to use the latest research.
[00:00:25.030]And we wanted to build
the tool that helps them
[00:00:27.405]to implement best management practices
[00:00:30.700]when they're managing their golf courses.
[00:00:33.650]So, the app has grown.
[00:00:34.780]And so I've gone from doing
a lot of the day-to-day,
[00:00:37.460]to hiring a talented team of
software developers, and a CEO.
[00:00:41.460]We're integrating and building new models,
[00:00:44.030]adding new research, and
forging collaborations with the
[00:00:46.760]industry to continue
to grow our presence as
[00:00:48.841]the premier decision support
tool for TurfGrass managers.
[00:00:52.820]We have a a pretty broad
reach here at Green Keeper
[00:00:56.350]that expands across the entire
country, and even the world.
[00:01:00.210]We have about 750 clients right now,
[00:01:02.950]from all levels of facilities.
[00:01:04.930]The smallest little nine
hole par three course,
[00:01:07.260]to golf courses that
have major championships,
[00:01:10.100]like US Opens, and also, Sports Turf.
[00:01:12.876]So, with the growth and
support that we've had,
[00:01:16.060]we've been able to really
invest into our web app and
[00:01:19.400]completely redo the interface
so that it's more intuitive.
[00:01:22.646]And that's also allowed us
to integrate new tools like
[00:01:25.360]program builders that are gonna
allow our superintendents to
[00:01:29.078]be able to craft a program from,
[00:01:32.100]from past experiences and
use the latest research in
[00:01:35.580]helping to to build their programs.
[00:01:38.730]I would like to just thank
New Tech for being there,
[00:01:41.710]and helping us grow,
[00:01:42.691]and having faith in us as
we've continued to grow.
[00:01:46.476]New Tech has engaged us to interact,
[00:01:49.090]and to meet people here
in Lincoln or in Nebraska
[00:01:52.370]that can help us to grow.
[00:01:53.780]And then helping us with
some of those legal hurdles,
[00:01:56.200]and helping us to navigate some
complex negotiations there.
[00:02:01.010]So that's been a big,
a big part of support.
[00:02:03.300]And then they just constantly check in,
[00:02:04.575]and then offer feedback
here and, you know,
[00:02:08.670]kind of ask the right questions
to make sure we're being
[00:02:10.640]directed in the, the right
direction to help us to grow.
[00:02:14.320]I like to thank my team, my
CEO, Wendy, my developers.
[00:02:18.742]Thank all the industry
support that we've had.
[00:02:21.220]Either our customers,
[00:02:22.117]or now some of these larger
groups that are wanting
[00:02:25.630]to work with and promote
us because there's a
[00:02:27.490]lot of challenges in the golf industry,
[00:02:29.210]both environmental, but
economic, labor shortages.
[00:02:32.383]And so, for our industry to
really grow and to survive,
[00:02:36.000]and to prosper, and we
need to be smarter about
[00:02:39.300]how we're making
decisions when it comes to
[00:02:42.050]managing these facilities for
all aspects of sustainability.
[00:02:45.228]It's just trying to balance
that in the decisions.
[00:02:47.930]And the guidance that we
get out of Green Keeper,
[00:02:50.040]helps those superintendents
make those right calls to,
[00:02:53.640]to hit all three aspects
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