The 3rd EBV IoT HERO powered by EBV Elektronik was an extraordinary edition! Hundreds of tech start-ups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs took part in the world’s leading IoT competition and only one could take the trophy home. Let’s meet now our winner AFS AGRO FLOW SYSTEM with an advanced agritech solution precisely measuring soil moisture, soil compaction, soil temperature, air temperature, and air humidity.
1. TELL US WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM?
The idea of AFS AGRO FLOW SYSTEM GmbH belongs to the owner and founder, Alexander Osadchiy, who was fascinated by the idea of inventions and entrepreneurship since his childhood.
After graduating from the university, Alexander dealt mostly with economic issues, but inventions always remained in the zone of his interests. Once, a colleague of his, who was at that time in Chile, turned to Alexander with the request to implement a pH control sensor for blueberries for local farmers, as well as a humidity sensor. After discussing the timing and budget, an agreement was reached, and the implementation of this order started. At the same time, the company was contacted by the chief agronomist of one of the agricultural holdings, who had the task to automate a penetrometer that would transmit data to their software (storage).
Having worked on this, it became clear that it would be difficult to remake someone else’s but our own product. The customer agreed to receive a brand new one that met his needs. This was a test for the team, as it was the first experience in creating a full-cycle product, from the idea to its testing and final implementation. Due to the fact that the company reserved the copyright for this product, we started to sell it further on the market. After analyzing all the developments, it became clear that the technologies in agriculture are the least developed, and the market potential is huge.
In 2017, AFS AGRO FLOW SYSTEM company was created, with the focus on agro IT sector, and it is aimed to achieve leadership in the sphere. A team of developers was strengthened: experts from different industries (from aircraft construction to industrial air conditioning systems and wireless technologies) joined the company, which comprehensively covered all the competencies necessary for professional implementation of the projects. We managed to understand agronomy, establish relationships with agricultural institutions that help us with the scientific background which enables us to become the leader in the agricultural IT sector.
2. WHAT HAVE YOU ACHIEVED SO FAR?
Having passed the experience of modifying our product, we came to the conclusion that we should create a multi-functional product that will cover the farmer’s needs for the majority of the necessary measurements, replace obsolete and low-functional devices, as well as save them money.
In addition to the DS Logger 500 (a farmer’s smartphone for soil), we put a lot of effort into measuring soil moisture, which is the biggest problem for modern agriculture so far. We started developing soil moisture sensors, set up our own testing laboratory and created numerous additional devices for automating data verification and calibration processes in order to achieve the most accurate results. As a result, we created the DSM 40/60/100 sensor, which measures soil moisture and temperature, and uses LoraWan wireless technology.
Our products have successfully passed certification in the EU. We have signed a number of partnerships to test and further implement our developments on the world markets. We send test copies of our products to our potential customers in order to verify the quality of our data and start sales in the 2020-2021 season.
During the development period of our start-up, we successfully participated in one of the most technological events – Web Summit in the ALPHA category. We also presented our products at the specialized exhibitions AGRITECHNICA (Hanover) and AGROTICA (Thessaloniki).
3. ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR CHALLENGES?
The biggest challenge for us was the implementation of the full-cycle product (from the idea to design and functionality): we took all the risks, understood that it would be difficult to implement a complex solution in such functionality. But thanks to our desire, burning eyes and the competencies of the developers, we were able to prove that everything is possible.
If we had to start all over again, our team would remain exactly as it is now. Due to each of its participants, we introduced a unique product to the market. If it was possible to change something, we would introduce the product at an earlier stage and would supplement the functionality with new sensors and features, because it is important to get user feedback earlier, starting from the very early stage.
We would recommend other start-ups to spend more time communicating with the end-users, reading out their needs, attracting them as much as possible at all stages of development, so that not to waste time implementing what the market doesn’t need).
4. HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE 3rd EBV IoT HERO AWARD?
Participating in the 3rd EBV IoT HERO of the 11th IoT/WT Innovation World Cup® was unforgettable for us. We are grateful to the organizers for their incredible support during the whole process: from the moment of filling out the application to receiving the treasured winner’s statuette. We are sure that this is only the beginning of our long journey of cooperation with partners and sponsors of the award.
5. SOME WORDS TO THE 4th EBV IoT HERO CONTESTANTS?
Be open, participate in contests, offer the market new disruptive ideas, do not doubt yourself and your abilities. Be persistent and, most importantly, make a high-quality product.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” (W. Churchill).
Kick-start your innovation with the 12th IoT/WT Innovation World Cup®! Submit your solution for free and compete for prizes worth 500.000 USD. EMEA contestants will automatically be considered for the 4th EBV IoT HERO with a cash prize of 10.000 EURO.
Do not miss out the chances to present your solutions at the global leading tech events such as 4YFN/MWC, MEDICA, WT | Wearable Technologies, BIM World MUNICH and many more! Benefit from the world’s largest network of successful tech experts, corporates, investors and business partners.
Who has the power to disrupt the Industrial | City/Home | Healthcare | Agriculture | Transport | Lifestyle & Sports? Affirm your leading position with the following special prizes:
The 3rd EBV IoT Hero is AFS AGRO FLOW SYSTEM. The 4th might be yours. JOIN NOW!