How would you describe your business idea to a potential investor?
At foldAI we build a platform leveraging 4th industrial revolution technology to support sustainable forestry. Networks of intelligent sensors in the forest monitor their surroundings and transmit their findings to a central service. Here, large scale Machine Learning algorithms compose the bigger picture, which our platfrom uses to inform foresters about emerging issues and their mitigation possibilities.
What problem do you want to solve, what is your goal?
Our forests are in trouble. Climate change is pushing them out of their natural equilibrium, and humanity is fundamentally unprepared to deal with it. Forest managers are overwhelmed by the forests’ ever-accelerating decline, as they don’t have the right tools or resources to react to these sweeping changes appropriately. The powerful combination of emerging technologies such as AI and IoT is dramatically shifting the landscape of many business fields, giving rise to what is now known as the “4th industrial revolution”. At foldAI, we want to use 4th industrial revolution technology to empower our forest managers to protect and extend our forests.
How did you come up with your idea/concept?
A few years ago we realized how economically undervalued forests are compared to the actual value they bring to our civilization. The result of this disconnection is a chronic lack of resources and technology for forest managers, preventing them from performing their vital functions effectively. Seeing this gap, we realized that we could apply the skills we matured working with consumer electronics to bring affordable hi-tech tools to foresters.
What is your business model?
The forest market is complex and multi-faceted. In turn, we are approaching it with a multi-faceted business model, catering to the individual commercial constraints of its stakeholders. This spans a battery of approaches, from subscription services to monetization of enriched data.
What is your secret sauce that makes your team and project fly?
At foldAI, we want to empower our forest managers to protect and extend our forests. We are experts at using AI in very small connected devices, where processing power is very limited and battery life is paramount. We are applying this expertise to building affordable, low consumption, sensor-rich networks of nodes that can be deployed in forests for years of operation. These AI-powered sensing nodes are able to extract precise and real-time local measures of forest health very efficiently. With the aggregate information, we can understand the dynamics of the forest at a large scale, inform forest managers through dashboards and reports, and empower them to make the right decisions at the right time.
Who are you targeting?
Initially, we will target hands-on foresters and research partners, supporting us in verifying our approach. When researching on the economy of forestry in Europe we met many frustrated foresters — forced to plan and execute in non-sustainable manners, against what they know would be best. Forestry is in dire need of systemic change, and that implies a systemic approach, with the coming together of many partners.
Why did you decide to work with XPRENEURS?
We joined the program via our EU Climate KIC program. UnternhemerTUM has fostered an amazing ecosystem, and we are overwhelmed by the amount of support we are receiving, in the form of mentorship, workshops and professional advice.
You want to become part of the XPRENEURS incubator program as well?
Get more information and apply at https://xpreneurs.io/