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Chicago Innovation
Judge

Orlando Saez

Founder, Aker

Orlando is the Co-founder & CEO of Aker, a precision crop diagnostic data and service company based in the Midwest. Orlando started his career in the telecommunications industry as a software developer. Orlando has held C-level roles in several early stage companies with a combined exit of over $50M including Boingo Wireless, the largest WiFi hotspot in the world.

Orlando admits that his life and career took a completely new dimension when he met his co-founder Todd Golly about four years ago. On a trip with Todd to his home country Dominican Republic, he saw how devastating pests can be to crop fields and how much agriculture relies on advanced in technology. They decided to come back to the Midwest and create relevant technologies that farmers would actually use.

The answer became Aker, a leader in the evolution of crop scouting and pest data with users in 21 countries. Aker is the first company to create technology that effectively automates ‘ground truthing’ or the process of collecting pest, and crop damage INSIDE the canopy of crops during the growing season. Aker provides geo-referenced real observed data and crop diagnostic tools, not inferred or approximated by current crop models. Top brands such as BASF, Bayer, Helena Chemical, and Winfield-UNITED already rely on Aker service and software tools to bring their newest products to market.

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