In 2011 two attendees on a Lean LaunchPad course had the idea of of building robotic lawn mowers for golf courses.
They followed the Lean Startup methodology and talked to over 100 golf course customers in 10 weeks and found they were not interested in their solution. Undeterred they moved on and talked to farmers to see how they might use their product and found that they were very interested in a way to remove weeds from their fields.
After pivoting their product into an automated chemical free weed killing product they founded Blue River Technology with the help of a grant and funding from friends and family. They built their first commercial product in 9 months.
Blue River has continued to focus on farmers as their customer base. Their mission is to create intelligent machinery that solves the farmers problems.
In 2017 they were bought by John Deere, the leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment, for $305 million.