ONE OF MARQUETTE’S technology pioneers has left 906 Technologies, the company he founded thirteen years ago, and has moved on to a new challenge.
Lee Francisco is the president of the start-up Agrimote Solutions which has invented a sensor that can monitor the soil moisture of thousands of individual plants remotely.
Steve Williams, another local, is his partner in the company.
You have a marijuana grow operation in California but you’re visiting Marquette, and you want to see whether each of those plants is getting the water they need? Agrimote will take care of it and do it far more efficiently than any comparable devices on the market, according to Francisco.
Sounds promising, especially as more and more states legalize recreational and medical marijuana.
It’s got Francisco excited. “I want to do start-ups,” he says. “I want to build things. I don’t want to manage them.”
Next step for Agrimote is beta testing, to see how it performs with a limited market. That starts in January. If that’s successful, then they’ll make it available to every grower–nationwide and worldwide–toward the middle of the year.
In the meantime, Francisco has a few other irons in the fire. He’s partnering with Patrick Dunn, another local, in the start-up Temp Gig, which connects companies in need of laborers with the local labor force.
He’s also the chief technology officer for FamilyPlan, an app that helps divorced couples deal with custody issues, finances, and lawyer problems.
By the way, Francisco says he never saw a marijuana plant until earlier this year. And he’s still never smoked the stuff.
He’s too busy devising apps.
THE CRIB, THE month old coffee shop on Third Street, has taken that next step.
It’s now serving beer and wine, after being granted a liquor license last week. No cocktails yet, but that’ll be next.
Also on the horizon, live music.
Ambitious, to say the least. But they’ve got the space for expanded services–two floors of a beautifully remodeled old home.
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