Macon, Ga.-based Central Piedmont Investment Group’s funding
will support field testing of Reservoir Spoke technology in metro Atlanta.
Reservoir is a startup company in the Advanced Technology Development Center’s ATDC Accelerate portfolio of companies. A program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, ATDC is the state of Georgia’s technology incubator and works with entrepreneurs to help them learn, launch, scale, and succeed in creating successful companies.
The angel fund’s managing director, Bob Easter, said the investment in Reservoir fits its strategy of funding promising startups in Georgia and the Southeast to foster the region’s economy.
“Reservoir is poised to be the first to market with a solution that irrigators have wanted for decades,” Easter said.
The funding will allow Reservoir to complete field tests with 10 of its client businesses in metro Atlanta, including Irrigation Consultant Services, MNI Direct, and Moon’s Tree Farm.
These early adopters will provide feedback on the newly developed Reservoir Spoke, a product that simplifies irrigation systems by replacing conventional hardware — wires, controllers, output modules, surge arresters, and decoders. This feedback will also help Reservoir improve the Spoke app, which lets users manage irrigation by site and zone from anywhere in the world.
Jesse Lafian, who founded Reservoir in 2016 as a junior horticulture student at the University of Georgia, explained how the Spoke adds value to a main target market.
“Irrigation contractors often bury thousands of feet of wire on a site and later have to make continual repairs,” Lafian said. “The Spoke allows them to add new valves without connecting wire from existing ones, saving money on installation and maintenance.”
Reservoir’s new technology will also benefit plant nurseries and tree farms.
“Many growers can’t use wired irrigation systems due to lightning. Their only option is to control valves manually, which is often very labor intensive,” Lafian said. “Since the Spoke is wireless, it allows them to automate irrigation with minimal risk of lightning damage.”
Central Piedmont Investment Group’s seed funding comes after Reservoir’s raise of $66,000 from pitch competitions including UGA Next Top Entrepreneur and FABricate, and grant programs including UGA Innovation Gateway/NSF I-Corps and Georgia Research Alliance.
Reservoir credits its success to support from the University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center, which is the state’s technology incubator and has the company in its ATDC Accelerate portfolio. Reservoir is also a member of Four Athens, an incubator for the Athens startup community and an ATDC partner.
“The mentorship and fundraising opportunities provided by these organizations were essential in helping Reservoir close this seed round,” Lafian said. “They have been integral to our growth and success.”