AgTech TerraSense Plans To Be A Part Of Elon Musk’s Mars Journey

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Though Elon has not called yet, Hunter Gaylor of TerraSense is confident he will. Why he thinks the startup will play a major role in interstellar agriculture and transportation:

How would you describe TerraSense in a few words?

TerraSense is a technology company committed to excellence in solving some of the world’s most challenging environmental problems, in industries such as agriculture, oil and gas, and mining.

What inspired you to create the startup? How did it all start?

We like to think different. The inspiration of TerraSense started with the goal to solve a world problem, not an engineering problem. By 2050 the world’s population will reach 9.1 billion, 34% higher than today. Nearly all of this population increase will occur in developing countries. Urbanization will continue at an accelerated pace, and about 70% of the world’s population will be urban.

Developing technology to help farmers grow more with less is a critical step. We started with a single idea, followed a small step backed by the determination of bringing a talented team of engineers and business executives to the table with the goal to approach technology in such a way that TerraSense delivers real actionable intelligence and value to our customers and partners. We at TerraSense are sensing the world’s resources.

You’ve mentioned that you work with data to deliver comprehensible, actionable insights. What else can you tell us about the technology behind TerraSense?

At TerraSense we are building an open, intelligent, environmental Internet of Things (IoT) system that utilizes low-level sensors to create field level intelligence to monitor natural resources. The application of our technology begins with soil health and will continue beyond agriculture into air and water quality, chemical and biological agent detection, and industrial environmental monitoring.

You work with farmers as well as governments to support them in monitoring their soil. Which use cases can you share as far as governments go and where lies the benefit of working with you?

The critical use case is resource management. With TerraSense’s technology, governments and farmers go from not understanding the properties of their land to understanding the conditions of their land in real-time. They are also able to predict the future condition of their land. This aids in the direct growth of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

What is the biggest challenge that the company has faced?

The biggest challenge has been global deployment. TerraSense has a mission to sense the world’s resources, which means that in order to be effective, our technology has to be deployed globally. This implies partnerships with many governments, technological deployments throughout many countries, and partnerships with several Fortune 500 companies. Forming relationships with large companies similar to John Deere or DuPont can be a challenge because of their size, however, these relationships are critical to pursuing our goal. Most companies create marketing material to appeal directly to their end consumer, such as a person who downloads an app. At TerraSense, we are often selling directly to governments so the sales process is different.

More and more startups are working on AgriTech or AgTech solutions. In your opinion, what are promising innovations we will see in the near future?

The future of AgTech is the future of the agricultural supply chain. If we look at how food is currently grown, from the soil and seed, all the way to when it is sold in the store or at the restaurant, there are many innovations that can take place along the supply chain. The tracking of food products from soil to fork is something we are working on. The rise of efficient precision agriculture based on quality data. And the prevention of agro-terrorism by the efficient detection of harmful chemicals in food.

What’s next for TerraSense?

TerraSense’s future includes more than just soil. We are developing sensors that can detect harmful chemicals. The sensors can be used outside of agriculture in the defense industry, and inside the agriculture industry by promoting food transparency. Elon Musk has not reached out to us yet, about TerraSensing on Mars, but I do see our company in the future playing a major role in interstellar agriculture and transportation. We are building technology for the future.

As a startup from Armenia, what would you improve in the European startup ecosystem?

We view ourselves as participating in the global marketplace rather than just the local surrounding areas. Today, more than ever, conducting business across international lines is easier, and in many cases, more profitable. Our direct relationships with the governments of Armenia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and others, help influence our internal development and corporate roadmap.

The European startup ecosystem should realize that the target users of their technology may not be in Western Europe or the United States. There are many underdeveloped countries with underdeveloped markets full of opportunities.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to fellow founders for their startup?

There are many external challenges to running a startup, and there always will be. The key is to not make yourself your own worst enemy. Adopting the right mindset to meet daily challenges is critical. We are currently working on a book that discusses the kind of mindset we feel is necessary for success in the modern world.



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