Seeking firmware/hardware engineer to help us bring Spark to agriculture

Hello Spark community -

I’m the co-founder of a startup that has invented a new sensor technology that is installed in the middle of a farm field and measures how much water is evaporating from crops over a 10 acre area. This data enables farmers to significantly increase yield and water efficiency through optimal irrigation recommendations.

While our sensor has some truly novel innovation, the core of the hardware is a microcontroller and a cellular modem to send measurements back to our servers. We would strongly prefer to build on top of Spark rather than re-inventing the wheel. Unfortunately, cellular connectivity is a requirement in rural farm fields, so the existing Spark core doesn’t work for our use case.

We are looking for someone with both hardware and firmware development skills to help us adapt the Spark hardware and firmware to support cellular connectivity. This includes schematic, PCB fab, and the firmware required for cellular communication. We are big fans of open source, so of course you can contribute your work back to the community. For the right person this is an amazing opportunity to contribute to their favorite open source project while getting paid!

For credibility, I should mention that we just graduated from the Summer 2014 batch of YCombinator and raised seed funding from major investors including Khosla Ventures and Bloomberg Beta Ventures. We have a lot of traction with very large farmers and we are building a world class team.

Our team is located in the SF Bay Area.

If you’re interested in this opportunity, please contact me at

Jeff LaBarge

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Just want to mention that internet connectivity via cellular might prove challenging in rural areas. (I lived in a rural area for 28 days few years back and there’s internet but intermittent is the word to describe it)

Nevertheless, it’s an awesome idea to have this working! I would personally run a local network(RF) and have data posted to the Spark :cloud: via a core/cores hooked on to a stable Wifi/cellular Network .

That allows me to cover a wider range ( and ease of internet connectivity requirement.

Have fun! :smiley:

Thanks for the suggestions and enthusiasm @kennethlimcp!

Our experience is that most of our sensors are installed > 20 miles from the nearest sensor so sharing a wifi connection isn’t possible. The core value of our sensor technology is that is measures a very broad area so you don’t need very many of them. Unfortunately, that also means that each sensor needs its own cellular connection. This has been the forcing function for us to adopt cellular instead of wifi.

Thanks again for your thoughts!