ECR Logic: streamlining fieldwork through mobile technology

ECR Logic's mobile app aggregates field data to streamline fieldwork and reduce the total amount of time on projects start to finish Photo courtesy of ECR Logic.

A University of Iowa spinout company, ECR Logic, is developing a mobile fieldwork data application that aggregates map data for use in the field by scientists and professionals.

The idea is to make remote field work and environmental compliance reporting easy, fast, and accurate by combining data found in different data sets, and allowing users to modify that data in the field.

The company recently participted in the I-Corps Innovation Workshop, a four-week program specifically designed for faculty and staff.

“The program was such an eye opener, said John Doershuk, co-founder and CEO of ECR Logic. “They cut right to the chase and got us thinking about markets, who we would be serving and what their problems were. It introduced me to a totally different way of thinking that I’m now even using in my day-to-day work more. I just look at the word differently because of going through that training exercise.”

ECR Logic recently received a $25,000 award from the state’s Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) Fund.

The $25,000 award will help the startup hire programmers to build on its core intellectual property, licensed from the UI Office of the State Archaeologist, and pay for additional customer discovery activities.

Merging academic applications into the business world

ECR Logic is a direct result of the University of Iowa pushing faculty and staff to become more entrepreneurial and explore ways to take the good ideas being conducting in labs and market them outside of the university.

In the process of doing archaeological research at the University of Iowa, mapping software was developed for field scientists. ECR Logic is an expansion of that mapping software that is applicable to all sorts of environmental sciences, not just archaeological compliance work.

“We’re just really pleased we’ve been able to translate what we’re doing at the university into something that might have a major impact on a national level,” said Doershuk.

Streamlining every step of the process

The ECR Logic app makes every stage of performing fieldwork faster whether at be prepping for a project, the field work itself, or processing reports.

“Our software is useful because it will allow someone sitting in an office environment pull in all kinds of map data all these different kinds of variables to put together that first step,” said Doershuk. 

The app is also useful for crews out in the field that need easy access to this information. If somebody got something wrong in the office or there is new data in the field that needs to layer in, fieldworkers can do that directly through the app.

Bringing the product to market

“We’re now at that tipping point where everything is really in place and we’ve got to take that blind leap off the cliff,” said Doershuk. “We’re hoping this summer to come up with some investment capital that will allow us to do that and really take off. We’ve done some beta testing. We’ve done some customer discovery. I think we’re on the right track. Now we’ve got to commit to full out sales efforts.”

ECR Logic currently is in contact with some of the larger environmental firms in hopes of getting them to adopt the application.

“If we can get some quick hits with them, they’re going to start to reshape the market towards this level of efficiency,” said Doershuk. “We’re expecting in a couple years to have either made a big splash or have missed the pool.”