CEO & Founder of Innov8.ag
Steve is the founder of innov8.ag, a Walla Walla Washington-based agtech startup and Microsoft-partnered company. Prior to embarking on the startup, Steve spent 12 years at Microsoft where he most recently focused on Microsoft’s fastest growing product line, Azure Cloud. His leadership skills contributed to growing Azure from a $100M to a $10B+/year business over 6 years. After his time spent at the Microsoft headquarters in Seattle, Steve decided to relocate his family of four to Walla Walla, Washington, in the summer of 2018. He envisions this location as the perfect base for ag startups given the convergence of progressive farmers and three colleges with strengths in agriculture, engineering, science, established ag manufacturers, strong connectivity providers, and a highly collaborative business climate. An Australian by birth, Steve has his MBA from the University of Washington.
Caleb Pan is a local Spokane resident that has a B.S. and M.S. in Geology and a PhD in Systems Ecology. With experience and skills in machine learning, remote sensing, and geospatial analysis, Caleb's data skills will help innov8.ag provide growers with a timely analysis of our offerings. As other employees like Brent and Kayla conduct ATV Orchard runs we'll be able to relay the data to Caleb for analysis. Caleb gives innov8.ag the resources and skills to help growers better manage their resources in a timely manner.
The focus of the role would be to join our Smart Orchard team and:
Validate & prioritize ROI-centric KPIs for orchard growers, with an emphasis on those that tie to sensor & image-based telemetry (particularly for data that's repeatable across other crops)
Collaborate with data scientists & researchers to build data model that identifies actionable insights that can impact KPIs
Validate feedback from researchers & growers on efficacy of data models
We’re looking for a sharp Masters level or PhD student with:
ag economics & strong stats/analysis education
comfortable accessing data via SQL calls
deep understanding of predictive modeling, machine-learning, clustering and classification techniques, and algorithms
advanced analysis & visualization capabilities (eg using R or Python for ML work)
This is Bailey, a recent graduate of the Walla Walla Community College’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Agricultural Systems program. She also holds an Associates of Arts in Plant and Soil Sciences as well as in Enology and Viticulture. Over the years she has gained experience in sales, marketing, crop insurance, wine-making, and even being a Washington Wine Grower. She prides herself in her experiences and knowledge in AgTech, agroecosystem sciences, crop management, and building cooperative relationships in the Agriculture community.
This is Ioan Lascoe. He was born and raised in Northern California. Ioan will be working closely with our marketing partner Red Canoe Creative. Due to his upbringing within the foothills of California, he thoroughly enjoys the outdoors where he spends a majority of his free time in nature either snowboarding, mountain biking, or fishing. Ioan graduated from Walla Walla University in 2020 with a Bachelors in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing where he had the opportunity to meet Steve Mantle and the other team members of innov8.ag. He's thrilled to have the opportunity to join a team focused on making an impact in the world of agriculture.
Finance & Marketing Specialist
This is Joel Wagness, our videographer/ photographer, who not only does videos and pictures, but helps with both the finance and marketing side of things. He was drawn to be a part of innov8.ag because of how they look for innovative ways to solve problems. Joel graduated from Walla Walla University in 2020 with a BBA in Finance. Apart from school and work, he tries to get outside as possible and enjoys just about any sport you can think of. Joel is extremely excited about the work Innov8.ag is doing because of the relevance and importance of our company, especially in today’s world as agriculture is more important than ever.
This is Sandy Jensen, our operations specialist. She is in charge of innov8.ag's daily operations. Sandy grew up on a farm in eastern Oregon, where her love of the outdoors and ag community began. She recently graduated from Walla Walla University with a BS in Global Development and certifications in Business Data Analytics and Bookkeeping. Sandy was drawn to innov8.ag because of its mission to empower growers with data and its ability to provide practical solutions for problems most growers face.
This is Kayla, a current student in Walla Walla Community College’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Ag Systems program. She also holds an Associates of Arts in Plant and Soil Sciences from WWCC. Kayla is an intern and ATV driver for innov8.ag as she helps run the day to day data collection and assisting our agricultural advisors. When not in the field, she enjoys snowboarding, backpacking, and anything else that keeps her outdoors. Kayla is excited to join Innov8.ag as they bring data to the farmers and advance the world of precision agriculture.
Our Advisory Board
Retired VP • Nelson Irrigation
Bob brings to the table expertise in water and irrigation management from his career with one of the world's foremost irrigation manufacturers.
PhD, Director • Washington State
Dave is an Associate Professor of Soil Science and director of WSU's AgWeatherNet, a source of data and support tools for Washington State growers and policy-makers.
Farmer & Consultant • Nelson Wheat
Andrew has rich expertise in computer science and hands-on, long-term experience farming 9000 acres of dryland wheat.
PhD • Crop & Soil Science • Ecological Food & Farming Systems • Michigan State • Walla Walla Community College
Erin is lead instructor for the Agricultural Systems Bachelor's program at Walla Walla Community College.
CEO-Specialized Strategy Solutions LLC
Doug is bringing a global understanding of the downstream cultivation of the data we are providing. He will provide the needs, the regulations, and resources needed to sustain globally.
CEO Tuctronics • Computer Science • Electrical Engineering
College of Agriculture WSU
Jeff grew up working on a wheat farms, and even studied at University of Idaho while working on potato tissue culture. He provided the first commercial tissue culture based potato seed in Northern Idaho.
Tuctronics since 2009 • Computer Science • CWU
Todd is a 4th-generation dryland wheat farmer with 17 years of experience in Eastern Washington. His passion includes working with growers and learning valuable techniques, while furthering research. Mission: newest tech to ag market in shortest amount of time.
Hermann G Thoennissen
HTG International, LLC Owner
Hermann has 35+ years of experience in various orchard management positions in WA State, 30+ years as the owner of HTG International LLC., 20+ years of experience in using aerial imagery in permanent crop production and also being an active team member of FarmCloud since 2012.
Tuctronics has been engineering telemetry products for agricultural control and monitoring for over 20 years. Tuctronics’ AgriNET is a cross-platform application that enables growers & stakeholder at over 1,000 farms to access the data created by 1st & 3rd party hardware.