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C3 invests

NICHOLASVILLE, KY – The Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3) Board of Directors voted unanimously Sept. 12 to provide its first investment in Smart Farm Systems, a Nicholasville-based AgTech company.

The $150,000 will be derived from the Kentucky Enterprise Fund 2.0 and represents a dedication to supporting innovation-driven Kentucky businesses, said Brian Mefford, who is interim CEO and board member for C3 (while also serving as executive director of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation effort).

“The board was deliberate in making this first funding for a company with strong leadership, a proven track record and significant growth potential,” Mefford said. “Our C3 funding in Smart Farm Systems is a strong indicator of the type of investments we intend to make, particularly given C3’s interest in accelerating AgTech companies throughout the Commonwealth.”

Smart Farm Systems provides farmers with a precision irrigation monitoring and control system that revolutionizes their ability to conserve water and energy, improve crop yields, as well as reduce equipment maintenance and labor costs. The system is a critical component in sustainable farming practices by helping farmers apply just the right amount of water at just the right time on a field-by-field basis.

“We are thrilled that C3 has placed its faith in our management skills and our focus on farm sustainability problems,” said Bob Farinelli, Smart Farm president and chief technology officer. “As a startup, we seek partners like C3 who can not only provide the funding but also access to other individuals and companies who, collectively, want to build a robust and supportive startup ecosystem here in Kentucky.

“In my opinion, C3’s monetary participation in the Kentucky startup community will help bring real jobs to the state through companies that are solving real problems that affect the world today. It is an honor to be the first company to which C3 has provided funding.”

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan F. Quarles reinforced the importance of bolstering the operations of agriculture-focused startups posed for growth.

“The history of Kentucky agriculture is a story of innovation, and it is important that we continue to build upon that tradition of excellence,” said Commissioner Quarles. “I look forward to following the trajectory of Smart Farm as they work with our agricultural producers to increase crop yields and incomes.”

About Smart Farm Systems

Smart Farm Systems provides farmers a tool to better manage their fields and crops during the growing season. We apply decades of knowledge in control, automation and farming to create a greener, more sustainable future for row crop and flood field farmers. Our mission is to provide growers with a precision irrigation monitoring and control system that revolutionizes their ability to conserve water and energy, reduce air and water pollution, improve crop yields and reduce labor and equipment maintenance costs. Smart Farm Systems delivers real-time, actionable information including the status of wells, crops and local weather for immediate improvements to efficiency. Our patented communication network integrates sensors and pump control modules with RF wireless technology to allow medium- to large-scale farmers to remotely monitor field conditions and control all well pumps from the palm of their hand.

Smart Farm delivers the information you need to grow.

Visit us at and on Facebook at

About the Commonwealth Commercialization Center

The Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3) is Kentucky’s unprecedented engine for statewide innovation, created to fuel economic growth and ignite life-changing impact for individuals, businesses and communities. As a newly created science and technology nonprofit, C3 provides resources to the state’s public universities and colleges in order to transform ideas into patents, business plans and investment.

C3’s roles include a commercialization core, C3 Legal, an accelerator program, state and federal grant consulting and competitive match program, and Kentucky Innovation Fund administration.

For more information about the Commonwealth Commercialization Center, visit

About the Kentucky Enterprise Fund 2.0

The Commonwealth Commercialization Center oversees the Kentucky Enterprise Fund 2.0, which fulfills the mandates of the Kentucky Innovation Act of 2001.

The Act established the fund as a mechanism to promote technological innovation, stimulate research commercialization and accelerate economic growth. The Kentucky Enterprise Fund 2.0 represents a commitment to enabling small- and medium-sized, Kentucky-based companies to undertake feasibility, concept development, research and development, or commercialization work in partnership with colleges and universities in the Commonwealth.

The C3 Board of Directors votes to fund of up to $750,000 on a rolling basis and requires companies to submit applications for funds.

For more information about the Kentucky Enterprise Fund, visit