We talked to Eduard Cabanas, founder of Thebluedots, about innovation in agri-tech, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Eduard Cabanas: Fortunately we are ok, thanks’
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Thebluedots.
Eduard Cabanas: This is the third startup of my career with what I already have experience in this entire ecosystem. 3 years ago, I began to develop the idea of making some type of system to help not waste water in the agricultural sector. After developing a sensor-based platform, we believed that the best way to scale the project would be to rely on satellite analysis systems, but from another point of view, a mathematical point of view.
How does Thebluedots innovate?
Eduard Cabanas: Our innovation is based on the analysis of satellite data automatically. But our approach is totally different from our competitors. We analyze each pixel in the images and give it a numerical value for each type of analysis (growth vigor, plant moisture, chlorophyll, nutrient status, pests, etc.). Once we have the value of that pixel (and analysis), we can compose a timeline. In this way, we can monitor each pixel (square meter) and identify multiple problems that may arise. Through heat maps, we represent these pixels, and we can apply the solution (irrigation, nutrients, or treatments for pests) surgically, reducing water consumption by 20%.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Eduard Cabanas: COVID has affected us a lot because we cannot go to demonstrate our technology. By not being close and once the videoconference ends, we cannot see the customer’s reaction, making it more difficult to close agreements. Customers are not about to include new technologies in these turbulent times.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Eduard Cabanas: It has been difficult to hold platform development meetings, but we have been permanently connected via ZOOM, so we have learned more to collaborate digitally
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Eduard Cabanas: We develop all our code, but we are using tools like Zoom or meet to keep us connected
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Eduard Cabanas: Our competition is from large satellite analysis companies to small startups that try to offer an analysis service. We want to break with “just” showing a photograph of the field. It is as if I explain how Kossir has done in a 10Km race, but only showing a photo at the start and another at the finish. With only this information, we will not know if you suffered during the race if you could have been more or less slow, if your leg hurt, etc. With our system, we can explain that race from sowing time to harvest … every 4 days, so if any problem arises, we can make a decision immediately.
Your final thoughts?
Eduard Cabanas: We have been designing this tool for a long time, and we are sure it will be revolutionary 🙂
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