Barn Owl Tech of Colorado Springs has received a $240,000 grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to develop a camera that uses artificial intelligence to monitor remote and mobile assets.
The grant was among 24 totaling $5.21 million made from the office’s advanced industries accelerator program. The program helps Colorado companies either demonstrate a proof of concept or prepare existing products for manufacture. The office announced the grants this week.
Barn Owl founder Josh Phifer said the grant will be used to develop an inexpensive camera that government agencies and small- to- mid-sized businesses can use for surveillance in urban and rural settings. The company hopes to have the camera ready in May and begin marketing it in the summer.
The grant “is a big boost to our credibility to have the state’s stamp of approval, especially since we are going after government and enterprise customers,” Phifer said. “We already have nearly 600 customers and are operating at a profit. This grant will help us to expand beyond the consumer market into the enterprise market.”
Barn Owl has to match the grant on a 2-to-1 basis by March 31, so the company is trying to raise up to $750,000 from angel investors and others in the next few months, Phifer said. The company also has added Hannah Parsons, now CEO of Exponential Impact, as chief revenue officer and Chantz Large as software engineer.
Barn Owl was part of the first group of startups that participated in the Exponential Impact accelerator program started by Vance Brown, co-founder of Cherwell Software and CEO of the National Cybersecurity Center in Colorado Springs. The company was started by Phifer, an Air Force reservist in Colorado Springs, and Greg Nallie, a recent Texas A&M University graduate.
The company developed a system using smartphone cameras to remotely monitor water tanks, irrigation systems, gates and other equipment on farms and ranches so owners and operators don’t have to drive around fields or pastures to check them.
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