Block Lawncare, a Baton Rouge technology startup, won $1,000 after a quarterly pitch competition run by Louisiana Tech Park through the Research Park Corp. at Juban's restaurant.
Block Lawncare was co-founded by Matthew Armstrong and Jacob Jolibois in late 2018. Armstrong holds an MBA from LS U and is the former young adult pastor at Antioch Community Church of Baton Rouge. Jolibois is a graduate of Louisiana College, co-founder of Parachute.fm, a local podcast network and a principal of Mesh, an advertising and marketing agency in Baton Rouge.
Block Lawncare sells software through a mobile application to landscaping company owners to track potential gigs, employees and enable customers to schedule lawn care online. In addition, its free mobile app is used by customers to order and pay for lawn care.
Block Lawncare had about 1,000 users sign up since its inception and it has a limited pilot with about 400 users right now. It generates income from taking a percentage of the lawn care service payment for about 150 lawn jobs so far.
Block Lawncare mowers are not independent contractors, as is the business model with many on-demand mobile apps, rather individuals who mow lawns for the company are employees but supply their own hardware. The startup anticipates raising about $500,000 in an initial seed round from accredited investors in the coming months.
"We're not lacking in our pipeline of mowers," Armstrong, a co-founder told the judges. "We've had dozens and dozens of job applications."
Soldier Fly Technologies, a subsidiary of Fluker Farms, and Hanley's Foods, withs its new product Bacom Bits, also pitched during the competition.