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 SMAPP LAB, a new wave pheromone trap system that collects data from the field automatically.
Can you briefly explain what your solution is all about? What’s unique about it?
Our solution is a new wave pheromone trap system that collects data from the field automatically. We combined AI and the traditional pheromone traps to save time for the farmers and give them exact predictions on when is the right time to protect against insects. The farmers only have to visit their own online interface, the traps do everything else.
How can your solution impact the AgriTech sector?
One of the biggest challenges that the agriculture sector facing today is to produce a satisfactory quantity of food for the growing population of Earth while adapting to the increasingly extreme weather conditions caused by global climate change. Yield growth (among many other factors) is reduced by the growing abundance and damage rate of pests due to global warming. At the same time, pesticide residue and environmental impact on non-target species must be reduced. Therefore, it is essential to provide sufficient decision support for farmers to pest control decisions. In defining appropriate management measures, including timing (as a key factor of success), prediction of pest migration is important. Our project answers the needs for Cross-Sector collaboration between the agriculture and the IT sector. We develop a fast, labour-free method to predict the optimal day of pest control to provide data in a directly-usable form for integrated pest management decisions against insects.
What’s the biggest milestone your startup has achieved so far, and what challenges are you still trying to overcome?
Our last biggest milestones are that we started a cooperation with some global agricultural company, so now we are able to open to the EU and the world market. Our challenge is that we want to build our own database to make our algorithm more accurate, but for this, we need time and several seasons.
How has X-Europe helped you during the past few months?
We could take part in great and useful training, mentoring sessions, and workshops. We also met other amazing agritech startups all around Europe.
X-Europe also helped us to connect our startup with international VCs. Thanks to the X-Europe in February we will have a chance to meet Cargill and talk about possible cooperation. Overall, we gained really valuable contacts during the cohort and the program helped us to improve our startup.
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur trying to pave his/her way in the AgriTech sector?
They have to be sustained, it isn’t the easiest thing. But if they are working hard, they will achieve their goals and they will have the chance to make agriculture more sustainable and they can help millions of farmers who are working hard to feed the world.
What’s unique about the X-Europe programme?
X-Europe is unique because in this program startups all around Europe can work and improve together. It’s also really useful that there are several cohorts for the different sectors, so we can have more specific training and network, which can help us better.