i3 | February 01, 2019

Faces of Innovation: Lawntap's Wilkinson Egwu

Caitlin Cline

Many people are guilty of letting their lawn get a tad unkept — thanks to busy schedules, work travel and a mound of other responsibilities. But what if you could and affordable and dependable lawn care at the touch of a button without paying a fortune? Wilkinson Egwu, co-founder and CEO of LawnTap is making this a possibility and helping folks get the pristine lawn they always wanted.

Where did the idea for LawnTap come from?

The idea for LawnTap came while I was driving down Interstate 75 in Georgia and counted over 20 trucks pulling lawn mowers. I said to myself, “Wow, how do these guys get business and is there any way to streamline lawn care and make it affordable for homeowners by using technology?” I thought right then, that it would be cool to mesh the on-demand Uber concept with lawn care. And perhaps even automate the whole process.

How does the LawnTap app work?

We have two sides to our business. The first is the on-demand side where a homeowner can request lawn care, the same exact way you can request an Uber ride. You get a lawn care provider with no strings or contracts attached. You then rate the provider on a five-star scale and have the option of using them again or a completely new provider. The second side to our business is the automated side where you can purchase one of our smart lawn sensors. You insert it into your lawn and set height preferences within our app. So, if you set it to three inches, once your lawn reaches that specified height, it triggers the sensor which automatically sends the request out for you. It’s completely hands-free.

What changes are in the works for LawnTap?

We’re looking to expand to Tennessee, California, Florida and Michigan just to name a few and we’re raising a seed round with hard commitments already.

What’s the value in using LawnTap rather than looking for providers on your own?

The value in our service is convenience and knowing that the lawn care provider servicing your lawn has been vetted by us. Most of all you’re saving money rather than just having someone give you a quote. Our algorithm gives you the most competitive price on the on-demand side. On the automated side our sensor lets you know exactly when your lawn needs to be cut so a lawn care provider isn’t coming around every Thursday claiming to service your lawn when it doesn’t need servicing.

What’s been your biggest challenge as a startup and what have you learned from it?

Our biggest challenge has been convincing skeptics of our business model. The lawn care industry is old and outdated and we understand this is a new way of doing business. Slowly but surely, they’re starting to come around because automation is the future and technology is rapidly changing. You have no choice but to adapt and we’re leading the revolution in lawn care. So, we’ve learned to step on the gas and prove the skeptics wrong.

What’s your best piece of advice for startups looking to get their footing in the industry?

Everyone thought I was crazy when I had the idea of a smart lawn sensor. People still think I’m crazy but it’s the crazy and most insane ideas that disrupt an industry. So be crazy but most of all never quit!

January/February 2019 i3 Cover Issue

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