Ornicept is making a difference and making the news.
Check out what others have to say:
Julie Wernau – Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL
At the last minute, the judges chipped in $10,000 of their own money to support Ornicept, an Ann Arbor, Mich., start-up that can track and analyze bird populations with cameras and cloud computing software.
Amy Kuras for Ann Arbor SPARK
Wind energy is one of the most promising green energy technologies, but it comes with a catch: turbines can kill migrating birds if they are placed in the birds’ flight path, leading to endangerment of some species. Avoiding that while finding the best location for the turbines is a challenge for wind energy firms. A new tenant in the Ann Arbor SPARK Central Business Incubator might just have devised an efficient, high-tech solution.
Jeff Tong – Tech Cocktail
Natural disasters and flight delays–partners in crime. From a airline customer perspective, we’re much more likely to fly an airline repeatedly if it has fewer delays AND superior customer service. Yes, natural disasters are out of our control, but how about bird disasters? With the help of Ornicept, airfield managers now have a viable solution to keep our flights on time.
Patrick Dunn – Concentrate Media, Ann Arbor, MI
“There’s a lot of good stuff going on, and a lot of interesting food and other things available to you,” he says. “Other than the winter, which looked a little scary. I’m starting to find that out first-hand.”
Conard, an avid birder and computer scientist who’s created what he calls his “dream job,” couldn’t be happier…
“We started off in my basement,” he says. “As you can imagine, that’s fairly isolating. So being with SPARK and being downtown has really broadened our exposure a lot.”
Lauren Ebelt - Michipreneur
Justin Otani, CEO, said that SPARK “is great. They helped us grow, access a professional network, and gave us financial resources,” among countless other things.
“It’s the difference between telling you what to do and helping you get there,” Conard said. “They help plug the cracks in the dam.”
Lucy Ann Lance and Dean Erskine - 1290 WLBY-AM, Ann Arbor, MI
Link to the Radio Show – Tech Thursday
A new company now calling Ann Arbor home is expected to have a major impact on wind farms, airports, and conservationists.
Link to the List- Accelerate Michigan 2012 Winners
[Accelerate Michigan] showcases the best and brightest new business concepts to investment capital to help foster their growth within Michigan. Targeting entrepreneurs with mid-to-late seed-entrepreneurial businesses — the competition has an immediate and positive impact on Michigan’s economy. In 2012, sixty venture capitalists from fifty one firms judged the competition – providing a great network across the country as well as constructive feedback to help the participating companies in their persistent drive for excellence.
Conard turned down PhD programs to develop a machine vision system that crunches big data to detect hawks, eagles and other birds near wind farm sites. That could be worth millions to developers facing pressure to avoid bird kills.
Ben Freed – AnnArbor.com, Ann Arbor, MI
“When we were initially looking at splitting the offices, the more services we found out about here, the more clear it became that this was where we needed to be,” Otani said.
“Michigan and Ann Arbor have really put their money where their mouth is on small business which really impressed us.” …
For Conard, it all comes back to the birds and the people who watch them.
“One of the things that keeps us going every day is that a lot of these companies and organizations are so analogue, and no one has ever brought better tools to help them manage their data,” he said.
“It’s not like we’re making the fourth version of something to compete in a space. We’re the first people doing this and I feel really good about that.”
Jon Zemke - Concentrate Media, Ann Arbor, MI
The founders of Ornicept developed their avian-monitoring technology at Indiana University so what attracted the award-winning start-up to pick up and move to Ann Arbor? The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor SPARK and opportunity.
The Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois
Sarah Rich – The Atlantic, Washington, DC
To count birds now, a guy sits in a lawn chair. Two former Indiana students want to use machine vision to generate better data that will prevent birds from being killed.
Jeremy Shere – Bloom Magazine, Bloomington, Indiana
Russell Conard is an inventive, dedicated computer programmer who loves nothing more than being out in the woods, watching birds. Fortunately, while doing graduate work at the IU School of Informatics and Computing, Conard, 23, found a way to combine his passions for writing code and for birding.
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
The investors felt strongly that it was important to support its growth and decided to provide a smaller investment aimed at helping the company reach its ultimate funding goal.
Steve Chaplin – Science at Work, Bloomington, IN
School of Informatics and Computing recent graduate Russell Conard, whose future bodes well as he leaves IU’s undergraduate ranks with a Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity and a significant cash prize from the Building Entrepreneurs in Software and Technology (BEST) competition held by SOIC and Kelley School of Business. Conard’s building a device to help companies installing wind turbines survey for birds that could become endangered, and it’s an idea and a growth industry that anyone interested in IU science will want to know more about.
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
It was a difficult project — one that, Conard said, he might not have tackled if he had understood the technical challenges in advance. But, working with Crandall and IU biologists, he was able eventually to develop an algorithm that could consistently identify bird species.
The research, it turned out, was not only interesting but has potential practical and commercial value as a way to conduct bird surveys that are required before and after a new wind farm is built.
If you are interested in interviewing the Ornicept team for an article or as part of a story, please reach out to us through our “Contact Us” page.