Economy & Economic Development  July 27, 2022

Robotic mower company awarded incentives to expand in Longmont

LONGMONT — A robotics company that’s developing an autonomous commercial lawn mower is considering building its production facility in Longmont, and state officials sweetened the pot Wednesday with the approval of an incentive package.

The Colorado Economic Development Commission signed off unanimously on the offer of $372,000 over five years from its strategic fund to the unnamed company — referred to by commission members and Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade staff as Project Eldorado — in an effort to coax Project Eldorado into choosing Longmont, where it already has operations, for its planned 50,000-square-foot manufacturing site. The company is also considering Florida and Texas, where it has teams and a high concentration of customers.

It is the commission’s practice not to identify companies that OEDIT is recruiting until incentives are accepted. 

The company has 37 employees, 28 of whom are in Colorado, and expects to create 394 net new jobs at an average annual wage of $116,881, according to OEDIT documents. New positions will include engineers, manufacturers, and roles in sales and operations.

The incentive package is contingent upon a local match by Longmont, the Longmont Economic Development Partnership or other community partners. 

Project Eldorado must boost its production capacity to reduce its order backlog, which stretches into 2025, a company representative who introduced himself only as Leo told the EDC. 

“There’s a lot of interest out there for something brand new in the industry,” he said. 

Longmont is home to at least two companies operating in the robotic mower space. 

Left Hand Robotics Inc. has developed an autonomous snow-plowing robot with mower attachments. The company was bought last year for an undisclosed sum by Minnesota-based mowing giant The Toro Co. (NYSE: TTC).

Scythe Robotics Inc. is the creator of an autonomous mower that uses eight HDR cameras and a suite of sensors to detect and avoid people, animals and other obstacles.

Scythe is the more likely of the two to be Project Eldorado.

The company tested its products in Texas and Florida, according to a Denver Post report, which were the same two states OEDIT documents mention as being potential landing spots for the production facility due to Project Eldorado’s presence there. 

Also, Scythe employs a person named Leo Jiang, whose LinkedIn profile lists him as the company’s vice president of finance. The Project Eldorado representative at Wednesday’s EDC meeting was named Leo.

LONGMONT — A robotics company that’s developing an autonomous commercial lawn mower is considering building its production facility in Longmont, and state officials sweetened the pot Wednesday with the approval of an incentive package.

The Colorado Economic Development Commission signed off unanimously on the offer of $372,000 over five years from its strategic fund to the unnamed company — referred to by commission members and Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade staff as Project Eldorado — in an effort to coax Project Eldorado into choosing Longmont, where it already has operations, for its planned 50,000-square-foot manufacturing site. The company…

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