Raising Cannabis Capital 0081: Grownetics

Vince Harkiewicz CEO of Grownetics joins Dan Humiston on this MJBulls episode of "Raising Cannabis Capital" to talk about using technology to make indoor cannabis farms more efficient and more competitive.  Growing cannabis has become very competitive and indoor farmers are using Grownetics operating system to link all their technology and to gather the data necessary to continue to succeed. 

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Dan Humiston:
Today Show and the following message are brought to you by Trevett Hill cannabis investors expect big returns from the companies that they invest in. Unfortunately not all cannabis investments succeed. Trevett Hill's management team works with investors to help turnaround or in some cases purchased their underperforming portfolio companies to learn more. Go to Trevetthill.com.

Vince Harkiewicz :
Which really unique about us is that because our mission is to help our customers learn how to grow plants that are built that intellectual property get data on how they are growing all their varieties and leading to maximum yield. We built another system that actually links all the microclimate data to every individual plant that they grow in their facility.

Dan Humiston:
From Buminit media it's the MJ MJBulls Podcast a show about Raising Cannabis Capital. And on today's show how this cannabis technology company is helping cannabis indoor farms be more efficient and remain competitive.

Dan Humiston:
Today the Raising Cannabis Capital series we are joined by Vince Harkiewicz CEO and head of product Grownetics.

Dan Humiston:
Vince welcome to MJBulls Podcast dance.

Vince Harkiewicz :
Pleasure to be here with you.

Dan Humiston:
Well Vince let's start off and let's talk a little bit about growing cannabis indoors. And you're based in Colorado. So you've witnessed firsthand how this business pretty much has filed the same cycle that most businesses fail. You know it started off with super high demand and very little supply. So most of the growers most of the indoor growers were really really successful because the prices were so high. And then over time competition started to ramp up and supply caught up with the demand and the prices started to go down. So growers had to become more efficient to compete which in most cases just meant that they got bigger which cause more and more supply and the demand wasn't quite there to meet the supply. And then the prices just kept going down and further down. So let's say today I own a large indoor farm in Colorado. What we need to do moving forward to maintain competitive advantage even to stay in business what are we going to need to do moving forward.

Vince Harkiewicz :
Yes. So absolutely no matter what level you're growing at your cannabis you're going to be dealing with unique sets of problems. And that's because this industry is still really new and indoor agriculture as a whole is still also pretty new in itself thankfully. Cannabis Growers and the cannabis industry as a whole has been really pioneering solutions for indoor culture. And we're seeing a lot of new innovation coming out to serve cannabis growers specifically and you know really that's what we focus on a green index on the large scale side of things. You'd be looking at image whether that's crop logistics automation with automated bench systems that move plants around your facility without having to have people going into all the different cultivation zones or just having a good idea on the monitoring and a microclimate environments that your plants are growing in. One of the biggest challenges we see in large corporations especially over 30 40000 square feet is a lack of quality control tools. Once you start to get up to that scale and you're going in a traditional tomato greenhouse the lack of microclimate control tends to end up leading to major issues in the quality of product. Most of the greenhouses over 40000 square feet that I've heard of in Colorado even over 100000 square feet all suffer for some kind of measure of quality issues. And that's because greenhouses weren't designed to grow cannabis which is essentially a little bush or tree which really disrupts the aerosol model of these buildings. Now if there are large indoor growers you do have quite a bit of a microclimate control ability but you're still dealing with this challenge of wanting to do clean room cultivation at a large scale. And that's really what everybody should be striving towards is just clean room mentality. This clean room style of cultivation no matter what scale you're at. So tools that we can bring to bear that support our customers in doing that and having less people that's going to be key to success in the corporate.

Dan Humiston:
Yeah it sounds like it's an investment that indoor farms are going to have to make in order to stay competitive. It's this investment in technology it's an investment in understanding data and that's kind of where you guys come in. Tell us more about grown addicts and exactly what you do.

Vince Harkiewicz :
Grownetics was founded to help our customers learn how to grow every plant they're growing better. After just one harvest over the years in order to do that we've developed a unique microclimate mapping technology that gives our customers an indoor weather map of their grill facilities. So just deploying that immediately gives them visibility into every aspect of their indoor environment. And then adding on top of that integration with control systems whether that's directly just adding our sensor inputs to the HPC systems already deployed or deploying our own dynamics control systems for indoor or greenhouse facilities immediately because we're actually measuring the microclimate in the canopy those controls become much more accurate which on its own leads to greater quality increase in yield and a better quality plant. So that's really the foundation of grown networks. Now what's really unique about us is that because our mission is to help our customers learn how to grow every plant that are built that intellectual property that data on how they're growing all their varieties and leading to maximum yield we built another system that actually links all the microclimate data to every individual plant that they grow in their facility. Now all of a sudden we have this incredibly powerful crop analytics tool that again just after one harvest over 100 plants we have a hundred little experiments to.

Dan Humiston:
Well like I said. So in other words if I have two or three plans that are world class I can look and see exactly what the climate that they were in and what changes we made to that harvest. They have all that information available to them. That's exactly right. Yeah. Oh my God. Yeah that's crazy. It would be so helpful because once you nail it then you just keep replicating it.

Vince Harkiewicz :
Exactly right. And so that's the next case. And one thing I didn't mention is that we're also bringing in workflow and so key management into this equation. And that's because we realized that this is still agriculture still people and plants and how we interact how we cultivate these plants is going to influence their quality and their yields. So we all know if you default rate at certain times your type of play in certain ways that changes the growth the plant that changes the potential yield of the plant. So understanding not only the environment in the feeds but also when tasks are done to plants. Those are really the key metrics that we need to be gathering to understand what's leading to success or failure.

Dan Humiston:
I mean initially I would say most people were thinking that when the laws change and the indoor farms are competing against the outdoor farms there start right off at a disadvantage. But if they use technology like which you can provide they may not be at a disadvantage they may be at an advantage.

Vince Harkiewicz :
I would absolutely say indoor cultivation is going to be the trend we see in farming as a whole with the new farm bill passing. The governments recognize not only of course that hemp needs to be federally legalized but also that indoor agriculture as a whole is a is a field that's growing quickly. And what we should do an indoor grilling is you don't have to use pesticides. You don't have to use toxic chemicals that you have to use when you're outside.

Vince Harkiewicz :
And so if you're trying to grow the highest quality medicine or the highest quality and nutritious food you're going to be doing it indoors.

Dan Humiston:
I want to take a minute to tell everyone about an exciting free opportunity. One of our former guests good harvest company is offering retail operators in cannabis brand managers in the adult use market. Good Harvest Company is preparing to launch a platform which uses customers buying and shopping behaviors to help brands effectively reach their customers. And for a limited time good harvest company will offer participating companies free access to their data in return for their feedback. To learn more. Good a goodharvest.co.

Dan Humiston:
Well and grown addicts is essentially the operating system that runs these facilities.

Vince Harkiewicz :
Exactly right. We recognized in the beginning there was no operating system for indoor farmers which is kind of absurd to think about how long we'd be growing plants and there aren't these tools. I mean until the cannabis industry came along and really kick started indoor farming there wasn't a lot of investment or research going into indoor cultivation for all these different crops. But now thankfully because of this industry best botanist in the world are cannabis growers and they're passionate about innovation but they haven't had these tools that they need to just do their job. And so building an operating system for indoor growers is really another big inspiration for this company. You know we're not going to get to trade away a lean production system in farming unless we have these tools and we're measuring is keeping pace.

Dan Humiston:
Well it sounds like you've done all the heavy lifting getting all the R and D and everything in place. I mean we didn't even talk about how you work with different companies sensors you have your own sensors. We didn't even have a chance to get into that yet. But let's jump forward now that all this is in place. You see the trend heading this direction where indoor farms it's necessary for them to get more technology within their farms. What do you guys need to do to prepare for this inevitable demand. What do you need to do next.

Vince Harkiewicz :
That's a great question. And we start really long and hard about exactly that how do we help to actually realize this transition into this new way of farming that we know is possible. What's happened is we've essentially evolved to offer terms Smart Farming solutions so beyond still doing are deploying our operating system for customers to custom facility design we're really going towards being able to deploy from top to bottom. What are the most advanced and efficient technologies available to our customers and ingrown attics as the operating system to tie it all together to allow them to take whatever state or whatever cultivars that they're growing and optimize them every single harvest. Obviously this is a large endeavor but demand has also been incredibly high as cultivators are on average square footage of cultivation facilities are getting much larger. They are reaching out to us because they recognize there are not operating tools to do specifically this in indoor farming. Some of the biggest tech companies in the world one that has three letters in its name has reached out to us to support them with some of the largest LTC in Canada. You know we have we're talking about facilities that are over 800000 square feet and there are not tools available to them except drone addicts to be able to do the microclimate monitoring to do the crop analytics at that scale. And we've really focused from day one on large enterprise cultivation because that's where the real challenges are yet to be solved.

Dan Humiston:
So you are in the process of raising money. So if investors were interested in getting involved tell us a little bit about the raise and how they can participate will be a preferred equity raise.

Vince Harkiewicz :
We did a seed note round to get this company off the ground to build the technology but now it's out of our India and we're in to commercialization. So definitely a good time to get a great deal for sure.

Dan Humiston:
Well we've been speaking with Vince Harkowitz the CEO and head of products at grownetics.

Dan Humiston:
We'll have all the information on the MJBulls website. Vince thanks for being on the show today. This is really exciting stuff.

Vince Harkiewicz :
Dan It's my pleasure. You know I really enjoy the guests you have on the show and I really appreciate it. Give me a platform to share what we're doing with your audience. We'll keep it up and let's do it again. Okay great. Looking forward to sharing our development strategy over the years.

Dan Humiston:
That's good. Good luck. Just a quick reminder that you can become an MJBulls member for just four dollars and ninety nine cents per month and enjoy exclusive access to companies pet stacks and the MJBulls cannabis capital directory. Joined today at MJBulls.com.

Dan Humiston:
Thanks for listening to the MJBulls Podcast. To learn more about today's guest or to become a guest. Visit our Web site at MJBulls.com. Today's show is produced by Buminit media with original music composed by Jamie Humiston im Dan Humiston and you've been listening to the MJBulls Podcast.

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