~ We're making steady (and growing!) progress at Phytelligence, the WSU spin-out providing better fruit, trees, and services to commercial growers and nurseries. We closed our initial funding round with more than 70% of the funding coming from our customers and partners. We've added a top industry leader to our Board of Directors. And this week we received our first revenue.
Even though we've yet to do any real marketing, we are getting customer inquiries every day, some from as far away as India. What we offer is unique, and valuable, saving our customers time and money, and reducing key risk. Our Board member Jack Snyder said it well in this recent article in leading trade magazine Good Fruit Grower commenting on Phytelligence genetic analysis and tissue culture capabilities:
[There is] value in being able to use genetic analysis to identify plants. First, it could help the nurseries protect their new and patented varieties. Second, it can ensure that nurseries deliver exactly what the growers ordered... Several cases of mistaken identity involving Geneva rootstocks have underlined the importance of DNA testing before mass production begins... Nurseries will have genetic analysis done of mother trees and the second-generation scion blocks.
The nurseries also are interested in having a tissue culture lab at their disposal to get new varieties out to growers more quickly. Not only is tissue culture faster than traditional propagation in the field, but it also requires fewer resources, such as land and employees.