Landscape & Irrigation

October 2017

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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6 October 2017 Landscape and Irrigation VIEWPOINT Editor John Kmitta | EPG Media & Specialty Information 10405 6th Ave. N., Ste 210 Plymouth, MN 55441 EDITORIAL STAFF Group Publisher David Voll Associate Publisher, Editor John Kmitta (763) 383-4405 Products Editor Steve Noe (763) 383-4407; fax (763) 383-4499; PRODUCTION TEAM Art Director Phil Tippin Production Manager Angela Scott ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES: EAST Chris Pelikan Senior Account Manager (763) 383-4408 MIDWEST Peggy Tupper Senior Account Manager (763) 383-4429 WEST Leslie Palmer Senior Account Manager (763) 383-4460 DIRECT MAIL LIST SALES MeritDirect, Jim Scova, (914) 368-1012 REPRINT SERVICE Robin Cooper, CIRCULATION For subscription inquiries and customer service questions, please call (763) 383-4491, or fax (763) 383-4497 business hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST Publisher's Notice: We assume no responsibility for the validity of advertising claims in connection with items appearing in this special edition. Commercial product names are used for the convenience of the reader. Mention of a commercial product does not imply endorsement by EPG Media & Specialty Information, or preference over similar products not mentioned. Swimming with Sharks For a couple of years, my family and I were hooked on the popular reality TV show "Shark Tank." The concept for the show sounds boring, but it is ultimately riveting. And it is an idea being mimicked everywhere — including in the landscape and irrigation industries. If you live in a cave, or are just too busy running a business to be concerned with network television, "Shark Tank" features fi ve millionaire/billionaire types (the "Sharks") who form a panel and listen to budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas for the next great product, technology, business venture, etc. These deer-in-headlights, fl op-sweating everyday people either have their idea chewed up and spit out by the Sharks, or they might just be innovative or at least smooth-talking enough to coax a verbal agreement for a partnership or investment from one of the Sharks. The Shark Tank model has since been replicated on other networks and online with everything from a professional sports version to a fi ctional version involving characters from Disney's "Descendants." The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and Irrigation Association (IA) apparently both see merit in the concept as well. On October 19, during GIE+EXPO in Louisville, NALP is partnering with industry expert Judith Guido to present "Shark Tank, The LANDSCAPES 2017 Edition!" as one of the Power Sessions taking place at LANDSCAPES 2017. The Power Session will bring together four industry leaders — the "Sharks" — including Guido, chairwoman of Guido & Associates; Frank Mariani, CEO Mariani Landscape; Mike Rorie, CEO of GOILAWN; and Doug York, CEO of Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply. Three entrepreneurs will then present the "Sharks" with their ideas for new industry products and services. If their ideas are tempting enough, they may receive an investment from the "Sharks." "There is a lot of interest in this session, and we expect a full house of people who want to learn more about how to capitalize on trends, read market dynamics, and scale a business," said Guido. "I am excited to connect budding entrepreneurs with real industry investors who can help make them profi tably grow their business and make their dreams a reality." During Irrigation Show 2016, IA introduced its "Pitcher's Mound," which was modeled after "Shark Tank." IA has announced that "Pitcher's Mound" will return for Irrigation Show 2017 in Orlando this November. Inventors, entrepreneurs and businesspeople in the irrigation arena are invited to take the mound and pitch their new product or service idea to bring to the market. The panel of judges evaluates each pitch and determines if it is a "strikeout," "base hit" or "home run." It appears to be a "Sharknado" of "Shark Tank" copycats at upcoming industry trade shows. But innovation and technology in the landscape and irrigation industries have been moving at a rapid pace. In recent years we have seen a steady rise in battery-powered equipment, robotics, WiFi- and Bluetooth-enabled products, and more. So it is great to see major manufacturers and industry leaders open themselves to new ideas and potentially groundbreaking innovation. After all, what makes the TV show "Shark Tank" so compelling is our innate desire to root for the success of the everyman and everywoman — the hardworking mom-and-pop entrepreneurs who dream big and aren't afraid to take chances to make those dreams come true. Here's hoping that the "Shark Tank, The LANDSCAPES 2017 Edition!" and "IA Pitcher's Mound" entrepreneurs have the next big idea or technology that can revolutionize the landscape and irrigation industries — or at least make your job a little easier and more effi cient.

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