The Genesis Program has invested in another promising student startup, AutoMow, a company that aims to completely automate the task of lawn care.
As many homeowners can attest, cutting the lawn is both labor and time intensive. The rise of lawn care services has demonstrated a need in the market for outsourcing this undesirable chore. Several companies have begun applying robot technology as an automated alternative to traditional solutions. With the recent success of robotic vacuums like Roomba, similar technology that utilizes collision avoidance software has begun to be implemented in automated lawn mowers. While this type of software is effective for vacuums, the resulting aesthetic of random-path lawn cutting is far from the desirable straight lines of an orderly lawn.
The AutoMow team decided to take automated lawn care solutions to the next level by developing an algorithm for a robot to cut the lawn in aesthetically appealing straight lines. Integrating this unique path-finding algorithm with optical recognition software, standard mowing blades, and edger components, AutoMow synchronizes with a mobile application for remote control and monitoring. This mobile application will notify users of malfunctions and maintenance needs. High levels of monitoring will also increase the safety of these mowers. AutoMow plans to further incorporate an array of safety features, including the ability to detect changing surface textures.
Currently building partnerships with homeowners’ associations in the area and local lawn care services, the team is in the process of identifying future customers and opportunities for beta testing.
The six-member team is comprised of five electrical engineers and one chemical engineer at the University of Texas at Austin. Their areas of expertise range from hardware to firmware to app development. Business lead and Genesis liaison, Subbu Kumarappan, has demonstrated significant engagement with the entrepreneurial community since the beginning of his freshman year.
AutoMow’s strong technical background, combined with Subbu’s experience in financial due diligence and risk assessment, position the team well for dynamic growth. The team is developing their venture within the entrepreneurship senior design course, which requires them to actively identify funding sources independently. The initiative on behalf of the team to embrace both the technical and business side of their project was considered very valuable to The Genesis Program.
Why I Led the Deal
The AutoMow team represents the entrepreneurial spirit that can thrive and flourish in engineers. The entrepreneurship senior design class is unlike any other course I’ve seen. It provides a valuable opportunity for students to not only demonstrate their technical skillsets but also learn about the various requirements to financially get a venture off the ground. I believe The Genesis Program aligns perfectly with the mission of this course. This will be a great learning opportunity for all parties involved.
I continue to be impressed with the AutoMow team and look forward to working with them in the future.
The Genesis Program helps students turn their ideas into reality by providing access to funding and mentorship. We are a student-run fund that invests in ventures at the University of Texas at Austin