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 behaviour 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 farms.

Topics: startups Livestock
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
6 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 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
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
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