Start Garden invests in green energy digester and hunting analysis app


The Sportsman Tracker web and mobile app help hunters and anglers pinpoint their next locations. Photo via

It’s probably fitting that Rick DeVos’ $15 million seed fund, which employs the very word garden in its title, would fund a startup idea looking to make West Michigan a little more verdant.

Thursday, as part of Start Garden’s weekly investment in two startup ideas, the Start Garden team put $5,000 into New Era Green Energy LLC. The idea would create a new design in anaerobic digestion, the process of how microorganisms break down biodegradable material once oxygen is removed, allowing processers to digest organic waste faster and cleaner. The goal is manufacture and service digesters, creating more jobs statewide and nationally.

“Our digester will create clean green energy while eliminating the odor of a garbage receptacle. Our digester could also be connected to the sewer system for its discharge without raising the BOD at the treatment plant,” wrote idea creator Wayne Craker on his Start Garden page.

“The field is wide open for small, on-site digesters, and there is no lack of waste. We foresee a big demand being created by the DEQ and EPA as they tighten standards for waste disposal. Digesters also create carbon credits by keeping the greenhouse gases from destroying the ozone layer.”

Public endorsement selected the idea Sportsman Tracker for $5,000 funding. Sportsman Tracker is an idea for an app that uses an adaptive algorithm to track past hunting or fishing activities, allowing users to predict the most rewarding times and places for an abundance of game.

“Unlike Cabela’s GPS Hunt Pro, Sportsman Tracker learns from your past hunting and fishing outings and generates new predictions based on your hunting and fishing locations,” wrote idea creator Jeffrey James Courter on his Start Garden page.

“The hunting and fishing industry is a multibillion-dollar industry with several new technologies. Sportsman Tracker will position itself to be the central construct with ‘connection points’ for several of these developing technologies. The potential is immense.”

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