To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.
– Benjamin Franklin

Marking some of the progress we’ve made at the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative are the Iowa State University students who are working on their own startup companies.  It is interesting to watch them go through the same ups and downs familiar to any entrepreneur, with only occasional flashbacks to past midnight sweats.

One example that has made great progress is recent months is Scout Pro.  In a nutshell, Scout Pro’s software assists farmers, crop scouts, and agronomists in identification of pests using software on a tablet device like an iPad. The concept for the business was developed in a class I teach, the group won the Pappajohn statewide business plan competition this spring, with a more formal launch for their product occurring later this month at the Farm Progress show.

Michael Koenig, founder of the company, has done a great job pushing the concept forward.  His partner students, Stuart McCulloh and Holden Nyhus, have also worked to make their vision a reality.  The video they’ve posted on their website is really good stuff.

The first part of the entrepreneurial process I talk about with students is opportunity recognition, the ability to look at the world through an entrepreneurial lens and recognize economic opportunities.  The Scout Pro team has learned that there is indeed opportunity in the marketplace.  However, they are now learning that executing on that opportunity involves a lot of hard work.  Leveraging resources, team building, and outright execution have very quickly become the primary focus of their efforts.

There have been a spate of articles recently about the decline in entrepreneurship rates in general (Wall Street Journal example).  I will withhold discussion of that topic for another day, but congratulate one company on the progress they have made in creating a startup success.