The Future Depends on Data: A Story of Data in Agricultural Business Decisions

The Future Depends on Data: A Story of Data in Agricultural Business Decisions

Martha Montoya achieves company milestones efficiently with assistance from The Brink SBDC.

Headshot of Martha Montoya, CEO of Agtools

“The Brink SBDC was and is the beginning of the story of Agtools’  startup track across the USA. The Brink gave us confidence; it’s an amazing team with consultants who believe in us and our solution. They helped us make our story less complex for investors and customers to understand.” - Martha Montoya, CEO of Agtools

A client of The Brink SBDC since 2019, Martha Montoya has looked to the Brink for individualized consulting for various business needs.

Montoya claims that the Brink assisted with “Deck presentation - making it clear and less complex, allowing us to fundraise better; legal counseling guidance, which allowed us to properly file for patents; and competitive analysis with comparables to understand long term growth.”

With assistance from the Brink, Agtools achieved many startup milestones such as completing two Angel seed rounds, an increase in staff, and increase in sales.

“The framing of the company’s message which is to empower our clients to see more visibly through data in their businesses, which in turn helps them to achieve more, has been in part due to the guidance of SBDC advisors. There’s no substitution for experience and that is true in all aspects of early stage companies such as Agtools. By tapping into the experience of SBDC advisors, we have achieved several milestones much more efficiently,” states Montoya.

Montoya competed in the San Diego Angel Conference II in March 2020, winning first place and a $200,000 investment from the San Diego Angel Conference fund. 

Headshot of Martha Montoya, winner of SDAC II

The San Diego Angel Conference is one of the largest pitch competitions in Southern California and was formerly led by The Brink. The San Diego Angel Conference is now its own organization, with the Brink as a partner and sister organization. 

After the conference, Montoya continued to receive Brink consulting, which has been the most valuable service provided for Agtools.

Montoya states, “By providing operational guidance, our advisor has enabled us to help position the company for growth. Through the many obstacles faced by early stage companies, it is vitally important to be able to have mentorship from our advisor and the SBDC as a whole in many aspects including product development and capital raising.”

One of the services The Brink provides is access to an Intellectual Property (IP) consultant. Although the consultant cannot provide legal advice through the consulting sessions, companies can receive legal guidance and assistance navigating through the legal aspects of business. Additionally, the consultant can provide introductions for clients to work with the Brink’s partnering legal firm or the University of San Diego’s Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic.

“Our strong patent filing was a result of listening to many suggestions from different angles, allowing us to not rush and make the proper human and capital investment,” expresses Montoya.

The Brink also assisted Agtools in positioning the company to become customer centric, which made a difference in their operations.

Montoya reveals, “In dialogue with the SBDC and advisors, the company has improved the customer outreach precisely by focusing on how Agtools’ data can bring immediate value to the customer. Advisors have also been key in servicing as a sounding board on vital matters such as accounting and administration of the company to ensure it does not steer off course.”

Over the years, Agtools has experienced tremendous growth and “has been able to adapt and swiftly address the company’s strengths, including a flexible technology architecture and deep experience in the food supply chain arena.”

Advice to other entrepreneurs

Montoya would advise other entrepreneurs to “Take advantage of every workshop and all the counseling hours available. Always take 1-2 nuggets of knowledge from those meetings. Do not step in those sessions thinking funding is the only area to focus. In fact, that thinking mode will take away faster growth because you will not be listening to many recommendations and suggestions the teams and consultants are bringing that eventually will allow you to focus on your core business.”

More about Agtools

Agtools is a worldwide software as a service platform that gathers real-time government and institutional data of over 500 specialty crops and commodities. This access to accurate, objective, and real time data provides farmers, buyers, and everyone on the supply chain with the tools to make data informed decisions to develop, implement, and monitor business initiatives and results.

Contact:

Rhoda Sabatchi
sbdc@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4547