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2 min read

MEET ROOTCAMP LIVESTOCK STARTUP CYNOMYS

By Sandy Khorshed on Oct 20, 2022 11:53:51 AM

Regularly we want to present to you the startups that are part of the RootCamp accelerator startup program. In this interview series, we introduce you to the founders, their innovative technology, and how RootCamp has taken the startup to the next level. Get to know Cynomys of batch #3.

What does your startup do?

Cynomys has patented an IoT solution to monitor the environment on the farm, we have overcome technical difficulties that have allowed us to be the only ones able to accurately and continuously monitor environmental parameters such as fine dust, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, or methane. Our solution allows us to monitor over 30 environmental parameters according to the customer's needs, furthermore for greater accuracy of the data all our devices are calibrated in a certified laboratory.

How does your technology bring positive change to agriculture?

With precise environmental data, it is possible to improve farms’ efficiency, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, decrease mortality, increase productivity and reduction in the use of antibiotics are just some of the goals achieved by our customers. We work together with pharmaceutical industries, feed industries, and agri-food companies to improve and make current farming practices more sustainable.

Why did you decide to apply for the Innovation Hub RootCamp?

We believe that the best way to grow is the comparison in the dynamic ecosystems such as RootCamp. The startup accelerator program, despite being very complete, structured, and intense, is also designed to leave free time for startups that are already operational, and we are proud to have been selected. We also want to help livestock farming to be more sustainable in respect of animal welfare and in Europe, Lower Saxony is certainly one of the best places to start.

How has participating in our accelerator program helped you with your business? 

We have significantly expanded our network with exciting realities and we are already working to realize 3 new projects with companies and startups in the RootCamp ecosystem.

Enrico Carta (Co-founder of Cynomys) at the demo days of batch #3.

What are your plans for the near future?

We definitely want to close the investment round and expand our market by hiring new people in sales. Thanks to the many possibilities presented to us, we are also evaluating the possibility of opening a branch in the Hanover area.

➡️ Do you want to level up your startup like Cynomys and benefit from the unique ecosystem of innovation hub RootCamp? Click here to drop off your application for batch #4. Deadline to apply ends on 16th January 2023.

Topics: Startup Bios Interview Livestock
3 min read

MEET ROOTCAMP Livestock STARTUP VETVISE

By Sandy Khorshed on Oct 13, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Regularly we want to present to you the startups that are part of the RootCamp accelerator startup program. In this interview series, we introduce you to the founders, their innovative technology, and how RootCamp has taken the startup to the next level. Get to know VetVise of batch#3.

What does your startup do?

VetVise puts the animal back at the center of pig and poultry farming. We care for the well-being of all animals by continuously monitoring them with cameras and AI to recommend actions that improve animal welfare and farm efficiency. AI analysis and linking with other data, such as slaughter data, optimize the entire value chain. We use cheap and off-the-shelf hardware for EdgeComputing to automate and objectify the stable management of the future. As a team, we are extremely diverse with very different professional backgrounds with the common goal to bring real benefit to the farmer. 

How does your technology bring positive change to agriculture?

VetVise helps farmers demonstrate compliance and improvement in animal welfare to the public and improve resource use. For example, the temperature in the barn is controlled according to what is optimal for the animals. Too cold would be bad for animal welfare and too warm would mean a waste of resources. This improves farm efficiency. The animal and its needs are the center of attention again - even if it is in a large barn.

Why did you decide to apply for the Innovation Hub RootCamp?

As a Hanoverian startup, we had already heard a lot of good things about RootCamp, which is located in Hanover. Before the application, we realized that we had to keep learning and professionalizing in order to continue to be successful. Within 1.5 years we grew from 3 founders to a team with 15 people. 

How has participating in our accelerator program helped you with your business? 

We have learned how to professionalize our structures and hired for example some more people for the back office. The weekly coaching sessions are extremely helpful. As a result, we can start the next growth step in a few weeks. The extraordinary practical experience of the RootCamp team has also given us a lot of food for thought about the next to-do's.

Norman Caspari (Co-founder of Vetvise) at the demo days of batch#3.

What are your plans for the near future?

At the moment our focus is on establishing structures, hiring, and onboarding new team colleagues. After that, we will start with another financing round and want to begin with the first major customer outside of Central Europe in Q4.

➡️ Do you want to level up your startup like VetVise and benefit from the unique ecosystem of innovation hub RootCamp? Click here to drop off your application for batch #4. Deadline to apply ends on 16th January 2023.

Topics: Startup Bios Interview Livestock
5 min read

Towards climate-smart livestock

By Ilka Gomez on Oct 4, 2022 10:15:27 AM

The global livestock sector contributes to a significant share of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and efforts to reduce the sector’s emissions and its environmental footprint have accelerated. Technologies and practices that help reduce emissions exist, and their adoption and use by the majority of the world’s producers can significantly mitigate the impact of climate change. In addition, the European Commission through the Green Deal has set a series of targets including the no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, helping companies to become world leaders in clean products and technologies, and supporting economic growth decoupled from resource use. But what does it mean in practice? How is the national or European regulatory framework shaping climate-smart livestock? 

Topics: Livestock climate-smart
6 min read

Best Practices on Livestock Farming

By Ilka Gomez on Sep 23, 2022 10:57:06 AM

The livestock sector faces enormous environmental challenges like high emissions, water and land usage, as well as changes in consumer behavior and the increasing importance of animal welfare. To be in line with the climate objectives, emissions need to be reduced significantly. As part of the BLIVE project, Innovation Hub RootCamp collected seven best practices that are improving the management of livestock farm.

Topics: startups Livestock
5 min read

THE FIRST ROOTCAMP DEMO DAYS IN PERSON- DAY 2 - Carbon Farming

By Mario Verbeek on Sep 20, 2022 8:00:00 AM

After almost two long years of digital batches and events, Batch #3 ended with not only one but even two in-person Demo Days in a row! Startups, corporates, investors and other experts gathered on the 30th and 31st of August at the RootCamp headquarters in Hanover. This article gives you a deep dive into carbon farming.

Topics: Startup Bios Events demo day carbon farming
4 min read

THE FIRST ROOTCAMP DEMO DAYS IN PERSON- DAY 1 - LIVESTOCK FARMING

By Ilka Gomez on Sep 16, 2022 9:00:00 AM

After three months of intensive work, the RootCamp Acceleration Program Batch #3 reached its end. To complete this amazing journey, we organized not only one but 2 Demo Days onsite in Hanover with focus on livestock farming and carbon farming.

Transforming the livestock sector

Together with the German AgriFood Society, we are implementing the BLIVE project to boost innovation and start building a pan-European network in the livestock sector. Increased global demand from the society for better animal welfare, improved sustainability across the livestock value chain, as well as the effect of the climate change are only a few of the challenges the livestock sector is facing. Innovation is key and will remain essential to address these challenges, and to ensure the contribution of the sector to the global food and nutrition security. To support farmers in this process, new disruptive innovations are emerging. Technologies to monitor animal health and welfare, prevent disease outbreaks, and optimise animal nutrition are now available. Let's have a look at some of them.

Showcase time for RootCamp Startups

On the first Demo Day, the following startups from the current batch had the chance to present their innovative technology:

  • BIALTEC, a startup based in Colombia, designs, and produces microencapsulated precision microbiomes for animal feed, which are capable of reconfiguring the intestinal microbiome by improving the animal feed conversion and gut health, maximizing the absorption of nutrients and minimizing the environmental impact. 

  • Biorefic from Latvia works on a next-generation biorefinery technology for producing from agri-food fibers advanced prebiotic ingredients and microbial Omega-3 fatty acids. The ultimate gut microbiome enhancing ingredient, resulting from this process, improves animals’ health and immunity and boost their performance.

  • Cynomys based in Italy, developed and patented a IoT monitoring system able to measure more than thirty parameters related to air quality (e.g., ammonia, CO2), energy and water consumption, and provides livestock farmers with real-time data to monitor farm's performance and to plan corrective actions.

  • VetVise located in Germany, developed a Machine Learning (AI) supported early warning systems based on 2D camera data. With this system, swine and poultry farmers are able to observe 24/7 their animals at the farm, assess animal behavior, and receive alerts related to feeding problems, tail biting, ventilation failure, among others.

Need for innovation and collaboration in the livestock sector

Ana Granados, Vice President of the Animal Task Force, presented the work of this European Public-Private Partnership that brings together the actors of the European livestock sector to draw a common view for a sustainable, competitive, and diverse livestock production sector in the EU through innovation and knowledge transfer. During her intervention, she mentioned some of the ongoing European initiatives such as Green Deal, Farm to Fork, and COP26 that are shaping the European livestock farming. She also highlighted the importance of collaboration among all actors in research, innovation, food production, policymakers towards a circular and sustainable food systems.

Additional inputs about the challenges and future of livestock farming were discussed during the panel moderated by Julia Köhn, from the German AgriFood Society. Wolfgang Heinzl, Director Business Development of the PHW Group; Lars Abraham, Co-Funder and CEO of dropnostix; and Philipp Rittershaus, Managing Director of RootCamp talked about the reduction of meat consumption in Europe due to the availability of alternative protein-based products. However, they agreed that livestock might continue to exist in Europe as an essential part of the food system, and the demand for high quality as well as local produced meat will remain. Startup driven innovation on livestock and investments in this sector are underdeveloped. Therefore, startups that can deliver added-value solutions to meet the sector needs could play an important role in attracting more investments and forming the future of livestock. In this sense, the panelists also emphasized the need for innovation in livestock and a legal framework that allows farmers to produce more efficiently and remain competitive compared with other regions. They also concluded that livestock farmers deserve more respect and recognition for the important work they are doing.

What’s next in the innovation hub?

The Demo Days of Batch#3 were a success, and we brought together many different experts. The conversation about livestock farming does not end here. If you are interested in knowing more about climate change and how livestock innovations can help with it, check out this blog article.

Last but not least we will attend EuroTier, the leading international trade fair for professional animal farming and livestock management, happening in Hanover, Germany, between the 15th and 18th of November 2022. Looking forward to meeting you

Topics: Startup Bios Events demo day Livestock
3 min read

MEET ROOTCAMP Social Media Marketing MENTOR VASCO NEMITZ

By Sandy Khorshed on Aug 29, 2022 10:56:42 AM

As a startup, you may be challenged with questions regarding the right social media marketing for your business. Uncertainties determine the everyday life of young founders. Fast and sustainable growth only works with successful marketing. Especially for startups that have not been established on the market for long, a good marketing strategy is essential. What good is the best product if no one knows about it? The marketing sector is in a constant state of flux. If you want to approach your customers not only in a targeted way, but also in a state-of-the-art manner, you have to keep an eye on the trends.

Topics: RootCamp Interview Mentors
4 min read

The BLIVE Project: Boosting innovation for livestock farming in Europe

By Ilka Gomez on Jun 17, 2022 12:17:31 PM

From April to September 2022, RootCamp in partnership with the German AgriFood Society is implementing the BLIVE project to boost innovation and start building a pan-European network in the livestock sector. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, through the SERVICE Open Call issued and executed by the SmartAgriHubs (Grant Agreement No 818182). This is the first public grant that RootCamp receives.

Topics: Livestock farming project digital innovation
5 min read

Get to know Startup Coach Caspar - RootCamp Team Interview

By Sandy Khorshed on Jun 15, 2022 9:36:25 AM

Get to know Caspar Olenhusen! He is one of RootCamp's startup coaches with passion for agriculture since his childhood. During his career in different countries like the USA and the UK he  collected a wide amount of knowledge and know-how to coach startups in the agribusiness and ag-tech scene.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Caspar. I live in Hamburg, but I was born and raised near Göttingen on a farm. I studied Agricultural Management in Germany and got my international MBA in Food & Agribusiness in the USA and UK. I worked for the seed company KWS, John Deere, the food startup Lizza and the Venture Capital Fund Oyster Bay. Since November 21, I have been responsible for the GIZ Livestock Tech-Startup Accelerator in Africa, co-financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Describe us your role as a Startup Coach at RootCamp.

Every week, I have a session with the founders to discuss strategic matters and guide them through the RootCamp programme. The company strategy, the founders' urgent questions, and the pitch deck in preparation for customer or investor presentations are often in the centre. I would count my work as a success if I could ask the right questions and develop a trustworthy relationship with the founders. 

Why did you choose to work for RootCamp?

I love to get in touch with exceptional founders in the agri-food-tech sector, and RootCamp does precisely that. It is a position where I can leverage my experience in the best way, and I can learn something every day.

When was the first time you got excited and interested in agri-food-tech and sustainability?

As a kid, you would either find me eating or near a tractor. Growing up on the farm, my first interactions with my grandfather on the farm sparked my interest. Food and Agriculture have become more interconnected than ever before. I believe that nature (and technology) can teach and help us solve any challenge. So the need for more sustainability feels natural and inevitable too.

From an early age, Caspar was fascinated by agriculture.

Do you remember the first day at RootCamp? What was it like, and what were your first thoughts?

It was in October 2021, and the COVID pandemic was still very present. I liked the atmosphere, and the meeting with Philipp and Gaia underlined that we can achieve great things here and that our work is essential for the ecosystem.

In retrospect, what was your favourite project? 

The teams and work are too different from picking a favourite - I can tell you some highlights and key takeaways instead. The most rewardful to see is each team's progress in strategy, customer growth or pitching over this short period. Further, I was astonished at how fast we could develop trust to tackle tough questions and challenges.

Share with us some personal facts about you.

I just had my civil wedding, and I am thrilled about the time ahead as a husband. I have 24 first cousins. My friends and family accepted my sometimes annoying hyper-excitement about agri-food-tech topics. I like craftmanship, building stuff with my hands, and spending the most time in nature. And dogs, I love dogs.

What is something you're planning on doing in the next year that you've never done?

Together with my wife, we plan to move to Africa for some years. Further, we are looking for a little farm outside of Hamburg.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

It was more like a spontaneously role play with my former boss I got into. It showed me the power and need for more empathy and the importance of being able to put oneself in someone's position.

About Innovation Hub RootCamp

RootCamp is a multi-partner innovation-hub for technology-oriented startups and intrapreneurs from the agri-food tech and bioeconomy sector. RootCamp is part of the SpinLab Family based in Leipzig and was initiated by K+S AG. It maintains a vibrant ecosystem and can count as partners on KWS, SKW, hannoverimpuls as well as Agritechnica.

We offer different startup programs which run up to twelve months and startups are supported by a grant of up to 50K EUR per team. A fundamental part of the programs is the collaboration between startups and corporate partners to develop new ideas and implement suitable solutions, in the form of pilot projects. The “Acceleration Program” addresses young startups and provides assistance as well as a network of mentors, industry experts and investors. Established startups are taking advantage of the “Fast Track” to rapidly enter collaboration projects with our partners.

The deadline to apply for RootCamo batch #4 ends on 23rd August! Apply now for our startup accelerator program to work with experienced coaches like Caspar.

Topics: agriculture startups RootCamp Interview Team
5 min read

RootCamp is kicking off with Batch #3

By Gaia Amatteis on May 16, 2022 3:19:27 PM

For Batch#3 we got 250 applications from 58 countries worldwide! We are extremely grateful for your interest in our program and the choice was definitely not easy for us.
Together with our partners, we have selected seven promising startups. The business ideas are driven by innovative technologies with a major impact on the agricultural industry. In the coming months our mentors, corporate partners and industry experts will work with the startups on many different topics as part of our acceleration program.

Let's have a look on RootCamp Batch#3 👇

AgriCircle

AgriCircle makes sustainable food production measurable and delivers application maps for resource efficient fertilization via API. Together with farmers and food processors they fight for more soil vitality, biodiversity and a more efficient and sustainable use of resources in agriculture. The startup from Switzerland provides automated and outcome based measures for regenerative agriculture. Their solutions deliver highly accurate and economically viable measures to quantify sustainability and to improve productivity in one go.

Bialtec SAS

The biotech startup comes from Colombia. Bialtec SAS designs and produces microencapsulated precision microbiomes capable of reconfiguring the intestinal microbiome into a more efficient and healthy one. W

Biorefic

They are developing a next-generation biorefinery technology platform for advanced prebiotic ingredients and microbial Omega-3 fatty acids while enhancing food security by upcycling agri-residues into animal feed. Their prebiotic is the ultimate gut microbiota enhancing ingredient that improves the health, immunity and boosts the performance of animals. The algal omega-3 lipids are a sustainable replacement to fish oil, essential to avoid depleting marine resources. They come from Latvia. 

Climate Farmers

Based in Berlin the startups mission is reversing climate change through regenerative agriculture. Climate Farmers enables an effective carbon market for agriculture through the development of soil carbon monitoring systems to enable farmers to transition to regenerative practices. The technology at the core of Climate Farmers allows for remote, continuous and low-cost monitoring. Satellite data is processed based on scientific algorithmic models and machine learning, enabling continuously higher quality results with growing data sets and lower costs. This builds trust in the reliability of agricultural soil as carbon sinks and allows to funnel a larger margin of profit to farmers directly.

Cynomys srl

We are the promoters of conscious, sustainable and animal welfare-oriented livestock farming with our patented IoT solution for environmental impact monitoring in animal farms: the Cynomys Livestock System. Cynomys srl are the sole company to provide full, comprehensive monitoring of environmental parameters and energy and water consumption in animal housing with a single, self-contained IOT device. The devices are specifically conceived for long time measurements and all their features are designed and built for that very purpose.

Seqana

Seqana is a Berlin-based startup that enables global climate action through satellite-powered insights & monitoring solutions for Soil Organic Carbon. They enable a hands-off approach to MRV (monitor reporting verification), cutting expenses from $5-$10/hectare to $0.05-$1/hectare, and expediting the pathway to credible SOC stocks anywhere on earth. The technology is powered by Earth Observation (public and private) which offers a 10x reduction in cost as compared to current established services. Beyond the MRV bottleneck, their solution can be applied to reduce the time and effort needed to scout new projects by offering a large-scale analysis of state or countrywide SOC levels to help direct new project resources most efficiently.

VetVise

VetVise from beautiful Hanover improves animal welfare and farm efficiency in pig and poultry production by 24/7 video monitoring and real-time Machine-Learning analyzing. They care for the animal from birth to slaughter. AI analysis and linking with other data, such as slaughter data, optimises the entire value chain by giving actionable feedback. They combine usually independent domains in order to achieve more through diversity: Science with Commercialisation, Veterinary/Agricultural Science with Cutting-edge Machine Learning and Theoretical Physics. Using low-cost, off-the-shelf low tech hardware as a basis for high tech algorithms to perform real-time animal behaviour tracking on edge computing to automate and objectify the stable management of the future.

 

About RootCamp

RootCamp is a multi-partner innovation-hub for technology-oriented startups and intrapreneurs from the agri-food tech and bioeconomy sector. RootCamp is part of the SpinLab Family based in Leipzig and was initiated by K+S AG. It maintains a vibrant ecosystem and can count as partners on KWS, SKW, hannoverimpuls as well as Agritechnica.

We offer different startup programs which run up to twelve months and startups are supported by a grant of up to 50K EUR per team. A fundamental part of the programs is the collaboration between startups and corporate partners to develop new ideas and implement suitable solutions, in the form of pilot projects. The “Acceleration Program” addresses young startups and provides assistance as well as a network of mentors, industry experts and investors. Established startups are taking advantage of the “Fast Track” to rapidly enter collaboration projects with our partners.

The deadline to apply for batch #4 ends on 23rd August!

Topics: agriculture startups
5 min read

The best 10 % of Batch#3: Discover the startups

By Mario Verbeek on May 9, 2022 3:10:26 PM

Topics: startups agtech RootCamp
4 min read

Meet RootCamp Mentor Alexandra Vázquez Bea Veganz Group AG

By Gaia Amatteis on Mar 31, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Young startups face many questions at the beginning of their journey in building a successful business. Uncertainties regarding their business idea, the company presentation to potential investors, product management and employee recruiting determine the everyday life of young founders. Therefore, it is highly recommended to seek the advice of external industry experts in the early stages.

RootCamp supports startups who want to accelerate their paths to market and have a positive impact in the Agritech sector with disruptive solutions. We provide an acceleration curriculum for early stage and fuel later stage startups. We connect you with great hands-on mentors with experience in your industry. Our mentors are well-known experts who support you strategically during the program and help you to solve concrete technical or managerial problems.

Today we want to introduce you to RootCamp mentor Alexandra Vázquez Bea from our network.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Alexandra Vázquez Bea. I hold the position of Executive Board member for Finance, Investor Relations, Human Resources and IT at Veganz Group AG. I have over 15 years of professional and leadership experience in the finance and startup fields. I worked in Corporate Finance at NORD/LB for almost seven years before becoming a restructuring consultant at FTI Andersch AG. In this role, I advised on complex restructuring and refinancing projects across Europe. In 2016, I started my own company, LENCHEN – Der Lebkuchen and led the startup to become a well-established name in the delicatessen pastry sector. Since July 2021, I have been working for Veganz Group AG as the Executive Board member responsible for Finance, IR, Human Resources and IT. Along with my entry came the official kick-off of the company's IPO, which was successfully closed in just under 4.5 months in November 2021. I am an active mentor in the startup scene.

How did you get into the AgriFood Tech industry?

My first contact with the AgriFood Tech industry was through my own startup in the delicacies business. Here I learned a lot about this industry. From the right use of raw materials over product development to the distribution and proper marketing of food products. During this time I was able to build up a good network in the food/agritech startup industry. This ultimately led to my contact with my current employer Veganz Group AG, and I have remained loyal to the industry within my current position.

What does mentoring mean to you personally?

I have experienced the ups and downs, the ambition, but also the challenges that one is confronted with during the early startup phase myself and have learned lots of lessons during this process. I often recognize my own experiences in the situations of the startups. I am glad to be able to pass on my experience and knowledge to young founders. And I also do learn a lot within a mentoring process. This is a two way street and I appreciate the ambition and dedication of the founders to a great extent.

Why did you decide to support RootCamp startups as a mentor?

I think it's great to be able to actively support startups in developing and establishing a working business model. Through my professional experience, I know the Food and AgriFood Tech industry well. Therefore RootCamp is a perfect match. Furthermore, I think RootCamps approach differs a lot from other accelerator programs and with its focus on mentoring gives the right impulses to the startups.

Alexandra has provided great support for our startups, especially in the area of financing.

What requirements do startups need for a successful mentoring relationship?

For a successful mentoring relationship, it is important that the people behind have confidence in their business, in themselves and in the mentoring. They have to be open-minded and willing to closely work together to identify challenges and find solutions. To get it going, of course, a certain enthusiasm and commitment must be present.

Are you an agritech startup that wants to scale your business idea to its full potential and have a positive impact in the AgriFood Tech sector? Then apply now for the next RootCamp batch! We are looking for startups across the globe to join our program. Our vast and diverse network with mentors like Alexandra will accompany you.

➡️ We are constantly looking for individuals willing to support founders that bring a range of skill sets to the table. If you’re interested in being a RootCamp mentor, just shoot a message to our Program Manager, Gaia Amatteis.

Topics: Mentor Bios agriculture Interview
4 min read

Disruptive innovation combining corporate power and startup agility

By Philipp Rittershaus on Mar 17, 2022 11:52:03 AM

Traditional multibillion-dollar corporations have dominated the modern economy due to their market access, structured processes, and well-known, trusted products. Uncertainty is being caused by the emergence of new trends, technologies, and market opportunities. In this environment, startups thrive. They are quick, problem-oriented, and fearless, but they lack experience and economy of scale. Collaboration between corporations and startups appears to be a perfect match, but it is not as simple as it sounds. They need help.

Topics: Learnings Startup Culture Pilot Projects
4 min read

Meet RootCamp Livestock-sensor Startup wiCow

By Gaia Amatteis on Mar 9, 2022 12:56:28 PM

Regularly we want to present you the startups that are part of the RootCamp program. In the interview series we introduce you to the founders, their innovative technology and how RootCamp has taken the startup to the next level. Get to know wiCow of batch #2.

Topics: Startup Bios Interview
3 min read

Meet RootCamp circular economy Startup FibriTech

By Gaia Amatteis on Mar 2, 2022 11:51:14 AM

Regularly, we want to present you the startups that are part of the RootCamp program. In the interview series we introduce you to the founders, their innovative technology and how RootCamp has taken the startup to the next level. This time we want to introduce you FibriTech who are part of RootCamp batch #2.

Topics: Startup Bios agriculture Interview
5 min read

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL BATCH: ROOTCAMP’S SECOND DEMO DAY

By Gaia Amatteis on Feb 25, 2022 5:24:00 PM

The RootCamp Demo Day is designed as an exchange platform for the agrifood tech scene in which corporations, investors and startups can discuss current topics like sustainability, circular economy, green packaging, digitalization of agriculture, and soil improvement techniques. Let’s see what happened this year and how we celebrated the Batch #2. 

Topics: startups agtech RootCamp pilot project Events demo day
3 min read

Meet RootCamp AGTECH Startup Contagra

By Gaia Amatteis on Feb 23, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Regularly, we want to present you the startups that are part of the RootCamp program. In this interview series we introduce you to the founders, their innovative technology and how RootCamp has taken the startup to the next level. Get to know Contagra of RootCamp batch #2.

Topics: Learnings agriculture startups Interview
3 min read

Meet RootCamp agtech Startup DigiFarm

By Gaia Amatteis on Feb 16, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Regularly, we want to present you the startups that are part of the RootCamp program. In this interview series we introduce you to the founders, their innovative technology and how RootCamp has taken the startup to the next level. Get to know DigiFarm of RootCamp batch #2 and its co-founder Nils Helset. 

Topics: Startup Bios Interview
6 min read

Soil microbiome: what's behind the buzz?

By Ilka Gomez on Feb 8, 2022 9:56:36 PM

Setting the scene

Topics: agriculture startups webinar
8 min read

Developing a circular economy in agriculture

By Ilka Gomez on Feb 8, 2022 8:06:27 PM

With the increase in the world´s population, the demand for food, energy and water is rising as well. However, the resources available are finite and have a limited capacity to meet this growing demand. Globally, around 90 billion tonnes of primary resources are extracted and used each year, with less than 10% being recycled. In addition, agricultural and land-use changes account for around 31% of global greenhouse gas emissions, making the agricultural sector a major contributor to climate change.

Topics: agriculture startups webinar
2 min read

Meet RootCamp Robotic Startup E-Terry

By Gaia Amatteis on Feb 2, 2022 1:16:19 PM

Regularly, we want to present you the startups that are part of the RootCamp program. In this interview series we introduce you to the founders, their innovative technology and how RootCamp has taken the startup to the next level. Get to know E-Terry of batch #2.

Topics: Startup Bios Interview
6 min read

Agricultural Robots: How robotics is changing agriculture?

By Ilka Gomez on Jan 21, 2022 4:36:39 PM

Modern agriculture is in the process of a technological revolution. Influenced by the growing global demand of sustainable produced food, followed by the increasing costs and shortage of labour, and the regulatory pressure for the reduction of the use of agrochemicals, robotic technology is redefining quickly agricultural production.

Topics: agriculture startups webinar
7 min read

Digital future: decision making systems for agriculture

By Ilka Gomez on Jan 21, 2022 4:34:49 PM

Global challenges such as the growing world population (predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050), the increasing demand for food, and climate change are impacting the environment and putting pressure on agriculture. More food and fiber need to be produced by adopting more efficient and sustainable production practices, and by adapting them to the changing environmental conditions. To face these challenges, digital agriculture and agricultural decision-making systems have become very attractive.

Topics: agriculture startups webinar
4 min read

Meet RootCamp Precision Farming Startup GeoPard Agriculture

By Gaia Amatteis on Jan 20, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Regularly, we want to present you the startups that are part of the RootCamp program. In the interview series we introduce you to the founders, their innovative technology and how RootCamp has taken the startup to the next level. Let's start with GeoPard from Cologne (Germany) of batch #2.

Topics: Startup Bios Interview
10 min read

“The potential of carbon farming - a reality check"

By Laura von Ketteler on Aug 26, 2021 9:23:09 AM

Carbon farming is an agricultural method which aims to sequester atmospheric carbon into the soil as well as into roots, leaves and wood.  It is also known under the term “regenerative agriculture” and includes numerous agricultural methods. 

The development of agriculture has become one of the central issues in society. This is because food production is responsible for one third of annual greenhouse gas emissions and is therefore a key contributor to climate change. Conversely, agriculture suffers from extreme weather conditions and farmers' harvest and livelihoods become increasingly uncertain. 

Topics: agriculture startups carbonfarming webinar
9 min read

“Is AgBiotechnology the key to sustainable agriculture?"

By Wiebke Gütschleg on Aug 26, 2021 9:22:30 AM

The fact that one farmer can now feed about 130 people is the result of constant innovation within the last centuries. Just within the last 40 years the techniques of modern biotechnology were added. But how will AgBiotechnology shape the development of the agricultural sector in the future? Can AgBiotechnology help us to feed all the people on earth and at the same time enable an environmentally friendly way of working? Do we have to expect to reach the borders of the laws of physics?

These are questions that we will probably only be able to answer in retrospect many years from now, but one thing is already certain: AgBiotechnology offers many possibilities and startups have a great potential to build a disruptive business and contribute to a more sustainable agriculture.

Biotechnology in general means "any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use". 
For us at RootCamp, AgBiotechnology encompasses more specifically biological and chemical techniques used on-farm including inputs for crops and animal agriculture in general, genetics, microbiomes and breeding.

Topics: agriculture startups webinar agbiotechnology
3 min read

RootCamp’s neighborhood: the former Sigmundshall mine turns into the Innovation Center Innopark Sigmundshall

By RootCamp Team on Jun 30, 2021 11:15:59 AM

At RootCamps we catalyze the cooperation of industry and international early stage as well as established startups. To support that, we also aim to build a supportive network and ecosystem.

Topics: startups agtech innopark network
6 min read

11 reasons to apply for the RootCamp startup Accelerator program

By Julian Dasenbrock on Jun 28, 2021 3:28:36 PM

There are thousands of startup programs in a wide variety of fields. But there are very few for agtech startups. You probably heard about us on social media, somebody introduced you to us, or you ended up at RootCamp by chance. Either way, still need more information about us and our program? Still unsure if you should apply to RootCamp with your startup? Then I have written down 11 reasons why our accelerator program is the right one for you.

And don't forget: the next application deadline is 16th January 2023 and you can't miss it!

Topics: startups agtech applynow RootCamp agfoodtech
6 min read

What do Hannover, environmental protection and startups have in common?

By Wiebke Gütschleg on Jun 4, 2021 9:27:02 AM

"Nothing changes if nothing changes". In order to be able to continue living on our earth, more must be done for the protection of the environment, nature and species. 

The World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5th and this gives us the opportunity to reflect on our contribution to the planet and to change our habits accordingly. The theme for this year is ecosystem restoration, with a special focus on creating a good relationship with nature (#GenerationRestoration). 
Topics: agriculture biodiversity environment hannover startups
6 min read

“This is just the beginning”: RootCamps first batch & Demo Day

By Leonie Habisch on Mar 31, 2021 12:06:08 PM

Less than a year after opening up, we celebrated the end of the acceleration program with the first Demo Day on March 11th. Over 100 international attendees from the agrifood industry joined the virtual event to hear about our program, see the startups pitch and get more insights on innovation for soil health.

4 min read

How to breath life into an international startup incubator during a global pandemic

By Gaia Amatteis on Mar 31, 2021 11:58:26 AM

Incubators are great for skyrocketing your business in an environment where coffee machine chit-chat can turn into a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity. Is it possible to establish this typical atmosphere of a startup community remotely? We found out by doing.

2 min read

ROOTCAMP STARTUP Smart Cloud Farming: “The world of agriculture is changing rapidly - we map it for you.”

By Leonie Habisch on Mar 31, 2021 11:48:07 AM

The Berlin-based startup SmartCloudFarming is one of the first who joined RootCamp. Their remote sensing technology provides 3D soil maps about moisture and nutrients as well as soil organic carbon.

Why is that useful? “Imagine the corona-virus can be identified via satellite in real time images. You could find out the values for every city and act accordingly. If you would use the same value and actions for the whole country it would not be effective. The same applies to soil organic carbon. Instead of having one value for five hectares you can get ten values for each hectare using a satellite. Precise and in depth”, explains CEO and plant biotechnologist Michele Bandecchi. Compared to other technologies, they don’t have to collect soil samples, are faster and more scalable.

3 min read

RootCamp startup CROPT: “We need to increase the agricultural production by 70% until the year 2050 and the only technology that can help us today is IT”

By Leonie Habisch on Mar 31, 2021 11:16:38 AM

Sanja Brdar and Oskar Marko from Novi Sad/Serbia are ringing in the next agricultural revolution. Their startup CROPT offers AI solutions for the agriculture of the future which means they use high tech to accelerate the development of the sector with big data, AI, machine learning and similar concepts.

While shaping future developments Oskar looks back at history to explain how this modern technology came into place. Agriculture was shaped by developments like “the Industrial Revolution in the 19th and early 20th century where new tools were developed. During the Green Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s new fertilizers and pesticides were introduced. All of this was done to increase yield."

Now there is again a pressing need to increase yield: “We need to increase the agricultural production by 70% until the year 2050 and the only technology that can help us today is IT." This is where CROPT comes into place. Their technology analyses data to make precise recommendations on the kind and amount of fertilizer a farmer needs. This way yield goes up and costs go down.

3 min read

RootCamp startup Be-Grow: “The biggest advantage of RootCamp is the focus”

By Leonie Habisch on Mar 31, 2021 10:59:56 AM

At their former employer BASF, Maik Schacht and Norbert Heidinger worked with an experienced team on making a novel hydrogel that helps plants thrive despite climate-change induced droughts, available to farmers. To get faster and more effective, Maik and Norbert bought the technology and the knowledge from the corporation and founded their own startup Be-Grow as a management buy-out.

On farms the hydrogel makes more water and nutrients available to the plants, which is crucial for the survival of plants in dry summers and to produce more yield. Unlike former similar products, it is completely free of harmful substances and can even be used in combination with fertilizers. The hydrogel is as effective as a greenhouse when growing plants but at low cost for the farmer: “The investment of a farmer to build up a greenhouse is about one million Euro per hectare. In comparison, the cost for Be-Grow Boost products for one hectare is about 250 Euro, which can be easily covered by the additional yield.” This way the product is also affordable for smallholder farmers in poor countries.

3 min read

RootCamp STARTUP Aquapurna: “Building an agrifoodtech startup is always about emotion”

By Leonie Habisch on Mar 31, 2021 10:58:48 AM

When Florian Gösling and David Gebhard went backpacking in India, they didn’t plan to come back with a business idea. But when travelling the country they also visited shrimp farms. While India is the biggest producer of shrimp globally and ships them worldwide, the conditions are not always the best for the animals, the consumers and the environment. So David and Florian decided to find a better solution - even though as a lawyer and an engineer they had nothing to do with the agrifood industry. What got them hooked was the possibility of “creating a positive impact with a product that everybody loves”, says David.