Soos Technology | X-Europe Startup Interview
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 Soos Technology, the only company working on sex reversal in poultry embryos.
Can you briefly explain what your solution is all about? What’s unique about it?
Soos Technology develops sex determination technology to solve the biggest challenge the egg-production industry has today, male-chick culling. Every year ~7.5 billion male chicks are killed, and about 50% of the industry production (incubated male eggs) is lost in the process along with wasted incubation capacity, electricity, water, and staff efforts. The company's solution is an incubation system (AI-driven software controlling a customized incubation cell) that affects the sex development process in chicken embryos and results in more functional female chickens that lay eggs. Our solution is unique as we are the only company working on sex reversal in poultry embryos.
How can your solution impact the AgriTech sector?
Our solution has a huge impact on several factors we like to call the 4P's - Poultry, Profit, Planet, and People. The main impact is poultry as we are improving the animal welfare in the egg industry by saving many lives of male chicks that are killed right after hatching.
In addition, our solution is very profitable to the industry as they can produce more with the same resources (or produce the same today with fewer resources). The reduction in resources needed will drastically lower the carbon footprint of the industry and lastly will increase nutritional security in developing countries due to the increase in supply.
What’s the biggest milestone your startup has achieved so far, and what challenges are you still trying to overcome?
To us, the biggest milestone was developing our product and building the team behind it. Some might say that we "play god" or that our solution is miraculous, so it is always great to know that we have a great team developing the technology that will provide an amazing impact.
In addition, we won the grand prize of $1M in the Grow-NY Food and Ag Competition. With this win we are going to establish a poultry research hub in Upstate New York in 2021. The biggest challenge ahead is scaling our product to an industrial scale. We are currently deploying pilot experiments with potential clients to further increase data collection that will assist in optimizing our incubation protocol before commercialization.
How has X-Europe helped you during the past few months?
The main benefit from X-Europe was the workshop from Growth Tribe. We aren't a very market-orientated team and the workshop gave us some wonderful realizations and tools for marketing and branding efforts.
After joining and benefiting from the services X-Europe has provided/will provide to you, what next steps do you envision?
We plan on expanding our operations globally. Along with the new US site, we will hopefully expand with a new EU site in the next coming months. Once we finish our pilot stage (roughly 18-24 months from now) we will go to the market and sell our product to poultry integrations worldwide.
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur trying to pave his/her way in the AgriTech sector?
Find the right partners. As a livestock startup, we needed many facilities for our experiments and it was hard finding the right partner. Many farms/companies demanded insane amounts of money/equity to use their facilities, but we were lucky enough to find someone who believed in our company and provided us with everything we needed without diluting the company completely. This is what we intend to do with our Poultry Research Hub in New York, provide facilities for new poultry startups that don't necessarily have the resources available to advance their development.
What’s unique about the X-Europe programme?
The X-Europe program was most interesting in the size of the cohort. We have participated in several food/agritech accelerators, but most cohorts were very small.
X-Europe allowed us to meet many new startups in a short amount of time. It's great that X-Europe was very inclusive and provided this opportunity to many companies.