Cory Willness and Derek Massy are the co-founders of Croptimistic Technology, the creators of SWAT MAPS. Cory is the CEO, and Derek is the CTO. They’ve been working on building precision ag tools for about 20 years together. Cory says he’s the hustler and Derek is the hacker. Derek is an electrical engineer and software developer. His dad was a farmer and Cory came to him in the early 2000s to start building software together. At that time, Cory was an independent crop consultant and the owner of CropPro Consulting, which is a company he still owns today that does agronomic consulting in Western Canada.
It’s through these early experiences of building digital tools that Cory and his fellow agronomists on his team could use, that led to them building a company to sell tested and proven technology that they were already using in the field. We talk about many things in this episode, from the evolution of precision agriculture, to building a profitable company in agtech, to why after many years they decided to take on an investor in 2021, and what the future might look like for precision agriculture and agtech more generally.