Todd Forsman (left) of QuickCarl, John Beane of MemComputing, Patrick Henry of GroGuru and Rory Moore of EvoNexus. Photo by Chris Jennewein

A startup using wireless communications technology to help farmers monitor crop moisture and save water was voted the winner Wednesday at EvoNexus‘ annual Demo Day.

GroGuru was one of nine companies from the San Diego incubator pitching to investors, potential customers and others in the tech community at Qualcomm‘s Irwin M. Jacobs Hall in Sorrento Valley.

Patrick Henry, CEO of GroGru, described how his company’s proprietary technology can save water and increase crops yields. He said systems are installed on over 5,000 acres of crops and the company expects to post $5 million in revenue this year.

The two runners-up in the vote by attendees were MemComputing, which has a cloud-based solution for complex business scheduling problems, and QuickCarl, a digital marketplace for home repair services.

The other six companies that presented were:

CARLSMED — A personalized system to correct spine deformity and eliminate the need for follow-up surgeries.

AONDevices — Semiconductor technology to assist voice recognition on battery-powered devices.

Atlazo — Semiconductor architecture for artificial intelligence health applications on ultra-low powered devices.

Axalume — Lasers on silicon chips to power fiber-optic cables connecting data center servers.

Cella Medical — A home device for measuring water retention in heart and kidney diseases.

nanoHenry — Radio-frequency filter technology on semiconductor chips.

EvoNexus has incubated some 200 companies over the past nine years, with 26 being acquired for a total of $1.7 billion. More than three-quarters of EvoNexus companies secure financing while in the incubator.

“That is a tremendous success story,” said EvoNexus President Marco Thompson, who predicted continued entrepreneurial success for EvoNexus companies in the coming year.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.