PlantLink maker moves to Boston

PlantLink maker moves to Boston

Oso Technologies, which captivated investors, entrepreneurs and even late-night talk shows with plans for a system that monitors how much water your lawn, garden or houseplant needs, is leaving Champaign.

The company, which concluded a successful Kickstarter campaign for its PlantLink system, is moving to the Boston area.

Why leave? Not enough moisture here?

"We moved out to Boston to be a part of Bolt, a startup incubator that focuses on hardware companies," said Eduardo Torrealba, co-founder and CEO of Oso Technologies.

"Bolt participated in our latest round of funding, and we wanted to get started with their group as soon as possible," he said.

Torrealba, co-founder Trevor Hutchins and software engineer Dan Widing are moving to Boston, while co-founder Michael Clemenson and Joanna Troutman, the director of business development, are staying in Champaign.

Torrealba said Oso — which had been located in M2 on Neil in downtown Champaign — found out Bolt was interested in the company after completing an application in January.

"We've been talking with them about moving out throughout most of the spring," he said.

Oso will work with the Bolt team on developing the company's next product, getting insights from Bolt's engineering and business development staff, Torrealba said.

Bolt's website — bolt.io — refers to Bolt as "a seed-stage fund that invests capital, personnel, equipment and expertise in hardware startups." It offers access to a high-end prototyping shop, seed capital and manufacturing support.

"We don't require teams to relocate, but you should want to," Bolt states on its website. "A huge portion of Bolt's value comes from working daily with our team in Boston."

Oso's idea for the PlantLink system inspired a David Letterman "Top 10" list and also got mentioned by Conan O'Brien.

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