Two Hawaii schools to use Smart Yields ag-tech through Whole Foods grants

Two Hawaii schools to use Smart Yields ag-tech through Whole Foods grants

Smart Yields

By Anna Hrushka, Pacific Business News
Posted April 25, 2017, 2:40pm HST

Two local schools in Hawaii will be using technology from Honolulu-based Smart Yields this upcoming school year after winning grants from Whole Foods (Nasdaq: WFM).

The supermarket chain has awarded two $2,000 grants to Lanakai School in Kailua and Koloa Elementary School on Kauai.

As part of the grant requirements, the schools must partner with a local business or organization for support. Honolulu-based Smart Yields will serve as a local partner for the two schools.

Lizzy Schiller, Smart Yields’ co-founder and head of education, told Pacific Business News the schools will use some of the grant money to utilize the Smart Yields app as well as purchase the ag-tech company’s sensors, which measure moisture and fertilizer levels in the ground.

Schiller said Smart Yields will donate time and energy to help the schools grow and tend to the edible gardens.

Schiller said Lanakai will also use the grant funds and Smart Yields technology to expand its existing eighth of an acre micro farm, while Koloa will be using the support to help grow its newly established garden.

“Working with the schools in this way and in any capacity really goes back to our longer-term vision, to educate and empower the next generation of leaders,” Schiller said.

Smart Yields said it will be expanding its education initiatives this year. Its its pilot schools Iolani and SEEQs will try to integrate the company’s technology into their curriculum.

The ag-tech company recently announced the launch of its newest version of its mobile app to 2,000 external beta users, while at Elemental Excelerator’s annual Interactive Week event in Silicon Valley.

The company was accepted into the Honolulu-based accelerator’s go-to-market track in February and will be launching its next seed round, raising $1 million.