2014 BioTracking Hopes To Learn From Neighbors At Entrepreneur Bootcamp
Contact: Robin Ohlgren Palouse Knowledge Corridor Co-Chair 208.301.1011 firstname.lastname@example.org
BioTracking hopes to learn from neighbors at Entrepreneur Bootcamp JUNE 03, 2014 (Moscow, Idaho; Pullman, Washington)
Cows don’t get swollen ankles. And if they’re moody, it’s hard to tell. But in the cattle industry, reproduction management is an extremely important tool. The industry, which includes beef and dairy cattle, was valued at $85 billion in 2012, the most recent year for which data was available, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. And companies like BioTracking, which is based in Moscow, Idaho, are assisting veterinarians, owners and producers by identifying whether or not a cow is pregnant.
“It’s important in the dairy industry, because it’s a tool to help milk production through effective management,” said Alex Sasser, Director of Business Development and Finance for BioTracking. “For beef, it’s also an important tool because it can help producers make informed decisions to optimize feed costs and maximize their return on investment.”
BioTracking was founded in 1995 based on research Sasser’s father, Dr. R. Garth Sasser, performed at the University of Idaho. R. Garth Sasser is an animal physiologist and an emeritus faculty member of the Animal Veterinary Science Department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho. In the course of his research, he discovered a protein that can be detected in the blood of ruminants — the animal family to which cows belong — which is indicative of pregnancy. With further research and the establishment of BioTracking, he was able to refine the process to become a commercially successful product called BioPRYN. BioPRYN test kits are sold in the U.S. and around the world, to be performed by BioPRYN affiliate labs.
Now, BioTracking and its affiliate labs handle about 800,000 ruminant pregnancy tests per year. Until about 2006, there was no competition in the area of protein-based pregnancy detection. But times change, and competition has emerged — and with competition comes new challenges. That’s why it’s important to Alex Sasser to represent his company at the Palouse Knowledge Corridor’s Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp.
“The top reason why it’s important to attend is because we’re always interested in learning how to optimize our business and structure, and we want to learn how to advance ideas and technologies used by other companies for our own use in BioTracking,” Sasser said. There are several technologies currently in development that could be added to BioTracking’s repertoire, Sasser said. None are ready for the market, but he wants his company ready to take advantage if and when they’re approved. “We’re always looking for new areas of growth and revenue,” he said. “We understand that the technology is rapidly shifting, and we want to be on the top of the tech curve to assure the future of the business by developing new products.”
A Moscow native and University of Idaho graduate himself, Sasser is also looking forward to meeting other businesspeople in the area. “It’s an opportunity to network with others in the area,” he said. “Businesses on the Palouse are part of a vibrant community. We want to reach out and connect with others.” Networking is an important part of PKC events, said Sasser, who is also a member of the organization. “At the PKC’s Business Showcase, you come away with new ideas, you meet new people who can help you in your own business,” Sasser said of the PKC’s twice-yearly showcases. “It’s a great opportunity to say ‘Hey, here’s another way we can apply something from a different industry to our own.’ I’m anticipating a similar vibe at the bootcamp. It’s a chance to share ideas, get inspired and then go out and apply our ideas, or at least think about how to apply their ideas to our own industry.”
The Palouse Knowledge Corridor’s Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ is a five-day event aimed at entrepreneurs in value-added agriculture, animal health and technology. The three topics were selected based on area expertise and regional demand, and bootcamp instructors represent the best in research, agriculture, animal health, technology and business in a two-university, technology-rich region. Daily sessions will include lectures, practical experience, assignments and takeaways, as well as networking opportunities.
More information at Palouse Knowledge Corridor™, Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ or to register The Palouse Knowledge Corridor’s Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp™ is June 21-25 in Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman, Washington.
The Palouse Knowledge Corridor is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to match innovation with opportunity, promote assets of the Palouse and foster collaborative efforts with universities, private sector, economic development agencies and government.