Welcome to our X-Europe startup interview series. We have virtually sat down with a number of our founders from past cohorts to hear all about their solutions, vision for the future, and what made them tick during our X Europe programme. So whether you are a deep tech founder looking for startup support, an eagle-eyed investor, or simply interested in the possibilities that technology can bring to society, then we welcome you to take a read. Please meet Bioo, a startup that creates electricity from nature by either generating electricity from soil or using plants as biological switches.
Can you briefly explain what your solution is all about? What’s unique about it?
Bioo creates electricity from nature by either generating electricity from soil or using plants as biological switches. Our mission is to merge nature and technology through innovative solutions that improve the quality of life. What's unique is the unprecedented potential of Bioo technology to do everything from lighting street lamps to powering AgriTech - with all of our energy derived from nature, without any harm inflicted.
How can your solution impact the AgriTech sector?
Powering today's agriculture requires sensors that cover millions of acres, using environmentally dangerous chemical batteries that need to be replaced each year. Alternatives, such as solar panels have high maintenance and structural cost and don't combat weather and dust damage. However, Bioo's new sustainable biological battery technology is able to produce 3.000 times what a standard sensor requires, and at a fraction of the cost - specifically, the batteries have proven to produce 100-millisecond discharges of 28W per day, regardless of weather conditions, with just a 10x10 cm surface area.
With prototypes already developed, testing of Bioo Sensor, which will be the world's first 100% sustainable sensor powered by the land itself, are currently taking place on agricultural fields across the world. Bioo will leverage its new advancement to help revolutionize the AgriTech industry, solving one of the main energy challenges farmers have faced over the last decade.
What’s the biggest milestone your startup has achieved so far, and what challenges are you still trying to overcome?
To date, the Bioo research and development team has created 11 different sustainable batteries, all nourished from a natural environment. However, it wasn’t easy. The first batteries we created didn’t produce much energy, so we had to keep pushing to get the results we wanted. In the early stages of development, we actually pushed so hard we created an explosion in our lab! This glorious disaster was a true breakthrough, as it proved that with just soil and water you could literally create an explosion. We now make different energy sources all with different focuses, including energy generation, improved terrain resilience, and cost efficiency, but regardless of the batteries’ characteristics, we make sure to keep all of our energy sources as organic as possible.
I think one of the biggest challenges we're facing is convincing people to think beyond the standard and what's been done in the past. We’ve had the industrial revolution and the digital revolution, but now it’s time for the biotech revolution. When most people hear biotech, they think about the pharmaceutical industry, but biotech can actually help shape the world of the future. It’s my goal to spark a movement where nature and technology are merged to increase a global consciousness of nature and improve the quality of life.
How has X-Europe helped you during the past few months?
The connection to ABInbev was a helpful step towards setting up a potential pilot project with them.
After joining and benefiting from the services X-Europe has provided/will provide to you, what next steps do you envision?
We plan to see our sustainable technology incorporated as part of Smart Cities and agricultural fields around the world.
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur trying to pave his/her way in the AgriTech sector?
My advice would be to always try to lead by example, as it's the best way to inspire a team, in my experience. I also think it's important to surround yourself with the best talent you can find across disciplines so you can delegate responsibilities while letting the team know that you trust their expertise. And never give up. One of my favorite quotes for entrepreneurial inspiration is from Steve Jobs. He once said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the unsuccessful ones is pure perseverance.”
What’s unique about the X-Europe programme?
The connection to industry players.