ACES alumnus Lucas Frye awarded Illinois Innovation Prize

Lucas Frye is now two for two in receiving prestigious awards sponsored by the University of Illinois Technology Entrepreneur Center. In 2016, Lucas was on the team that took first place in the 2016 Cozad New Venture Competition for their innovative product Amber Waves Grain Sensing. On April 26, he was awarded the Illinois Innovation Prize. This award comes with $20,000 in prize money distributed among the four finalists. Lucas plans to invest his prize winnings in new software and firmware hires for his new business venture, Amber Agriculture.

As described on the Technology Entrepreneur Center’s website, the Illinois Innovation Prize “honors a student who stands out as a passionate and creative innovator and entrepreneur, who is working with world-changing technology, and is seen as a role model to others.” That is a perfect definition of Lucas Frye, who also served as U of I student trustee during his senior year in college.

Lucas received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics in 2015 as a student in the College of ACES Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. Two years later, he is in the Illinois MBA program. Frye is already blending his foundation in agriculture with his business savvy as cofounder and CEO of Amber Agriculture to develop innovative tools like grain sensing analytics to help farmers. The startup was named top startup at the Consumer Electronics Show in January by Engadget.

Amber Agriculture will be testing this fall, primarily in the Midwest. So, stay tuned for more from this remarkable alumnus.