Zoom In: IOTree, Giving Trees A Voice

Posted on September 19, 2018

What They Do:

Lebanon, the MENA region, and many parts of the world have been targeted by dangerous flies that are completely destroying their yield. To solve this issue, farmers are applying pesticides excessively making the situation worse and increasing these pests’ resistance to pesticides. With IO Tree the farmer has to worry no more about this issue. IO Tree is a wireless sensory network controlling each farmer’s plot and making him apply the right farming practices through a farmer-friendly mobile app capable of being the eyes of every Tree and raising every Tree’s voice when necessary.

Their Startup Experience:

“After attending many workshops hosted by Agrytech and Berytech, and after meeting with many mentors, agricultural experts, and farmers, we were able to locate the most painful aspect of the agriculture sector. We thought of an innovative solution that is simple to use. Yet it needed commitment, hard work, and the right tools to turn it into a startup company. We thought that participating in the Agrytech Hackathon is the best way to validate our idea and to pave our way to the Agrytech Accelerator. Our win in the Hackathon was a push for us to go further with our idea and work even harder in Phase 1 of Agrytech’s accelerator.

In the bootcamp phase, we were able to distance ourselves from our startup and re-figure out every single step we made until we got to this stage. We were also able to distance ourselves from our technical and scientific background and put ourselves in the shoes of our potential customers. The bootcamp made us shape our methodology, and our approach towards the farmers we will meet in our upcoming journey. The bootcamp was an intensive business course. It helped us build a well-shaped business model, validate our idea validation, and enhance our public speaking techniques.

Phase 1 was a journey itself to the IO Tree team. Being part of this program, a lot of hard work, commitment, and persistence were required in order to achieve success on the final selection day. Agrytech’s support paved our way to success through 1) one-to-one meetings that shaped every step that we were taking, 2) group meetings that let us connect with our peers from the program and share efficient ideas to help each other, and 3) their overall support and motivation that made us more challenged and eager to continue further with our startup. Agrytech also pushed us a lot further through the Avant Premiere, that mimicked the scene that we will face while encountering investors. This has equipped us with the right tools to convey the message correctly to investors and to know what to expect in such a situation.

Our current objectives are to build our MVP (minimum viable product) after successfully building the whole picture of the market need and validating our idea in Phase 1. The MVP will consist of one sensory node with its corresponding mobile application. The MVP will be tested in an uncontrollable environment which is nothing but a demo plot, which will mimic the scene of every farmer’s situation while handling our product. The demo plot testing will consist of different tests, conducted in Lebanon with farmers of different age ranges. The testing is aimed also to be done in the Netherlands to understand the different mentality and the different needs incorporated in countries of the MENA region.”

The team consists of Christina Chaccour, Nisrine El Turky and Nancy Daou.

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