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The winners of the Agritech Startup Ideas shared their impressions of the competition

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The Agritech Startup Ideas competition, that was held at KATRU became a unique opportunity to present innovative ideas for the development of agriculture and the food industry.


The winners of the competition, our talented students, shared their thoughts about the project.

The competition was very interesting and useful. It's so great to show off and socialize in places like this. Moreover, this is an excellent platform for finding investments and establishing connections with companies. I hope that such events will become a permanent tradition of the university. (Analyzer team - Erkanat Tashen)


The Agritech Startup Ideas competition is an excellent opportunity for our team to share innovative ideas in the field of agriculture. This competition is very well organized and stimulates the development of agricultural technologies. We are impressed by the professionalism of the jury and the level of organization of the event. The competition gave us valuable experience and allowed us to establish contacts with other participants and experts in the industry. (AgroCashFlow team - Adel Daniyar) 


As far as I know, the Agritech Startup Ideas competition was the first of its kind in KATRU. The most interesting aspect of the competition was getting opinions on our idea. There are different ideas, but good and truly useful startups are rare, and our team is very happy that our project has received so much attention. (HydroSwale Solutions/Swale project - Zakhar Abel and Madina Musakhan)


How difficult was it to qualify? How long did the preparation take?

The selection was quite difficult. I won’t lie, I doubted that I would make it to the end. When I heard about the competition, I immediately got to work. First, I collected information. I read many scientific articles and analyzed which method is effective. Currently I am focusing on the deep learning technology TensorFlow. To collect data and to use artificial intelligence, very high-quality photographs are needed. Because wheat grains are fragile, I had to photograph them myself in the laboratory. The last stage was writing the code. For the competition I used the OpenCV library because it is a simple and fast technology. (Analyzer team, Erkanat Tashen)


According to the organizer Bolat Sultangazin, more than 30 teams submitted applications, but only 10 made it to the finals. As soon as our curator informed us about the competition at the end of April, my classmate and I were inspired by the idea. Preparations began in early May with the registration form. Then we waited for the results of the selection and already on May 10 began preparing our presentation. In total, without thinking about the startup concept, it took about two weeks to achieve a good result - an interesting presentation, preparation of a speech and answers to potential questions. (HydroSwale Solutions/Swale project - Zakhar Abel and Madina Musakhan)


What prompted you to come to startups?

Six months ago, I completed an internship as a technologist at KazAgroEx for dual training. The internship gave me in-depth knowledge of grain examination methods. And I understood. How simple is the methodology for determining waste according to GOST? So, I started thinking about how to automate this. As a result, I discovered a method on how to teach a computer to do this. (Analyzer team, Erkanat Tashen)


Thanks to our teacher Gulmira Kuanyshevna, we learned about the competition, and she inspired us to take part in it. Our decision to create a startup stemmed from our passion for agri-tech and the desire to contribute to the development of agriculture. We saw the challenges and problems faced by ordinary people and decided to develop an innovative solution that would help them become more efficient and improve their financial management. (organizer of the AgroCashFlow project Adel Daniyar)


Our idea is the construction of fiber channels. These are ditches that collect melt water and prevent it from washing away the top layer of fertile soil. This idea is good not only for the agricultural sector, but also for cities if some changes are made. This year, many regions of Kazakhstan experienced floods, which caused significant damage to residents and businesses. We think that’s why we were inspired to solve such a pressing problem, because preventing a problem is easier than solving its consequences. (Zakhar Abel and Madina Musakhan from the HydroSwale Solutions/Swale project)


What are your plans for the future?

I have several projects for the future. The startup’s slogan is “Computer vision on laboratory equipment.” Therefore, I will continue the projects and make a list of new developments. (Analyzer team, Erkanat Tashen).


Our plans for the future are to continue to develop our startup and bring it to commercial success. We see great potential in our project and strive to become key players in the field of agricultural technology. We intend to attract investment and expand our customer base. We are confident that we will succeed in the agricultural machinery market thanks to our exceptional passion and determination. (organizer of the AgroCashFlow project Adel Daniyar).


First, I would like to finish my studies, and then, having the necessary experience and knowledge, take on more ambitious startups. Although it is too early to judge, we are first-year students, but one thing is for sure - the future does not seem so gray when you know that students are already looking for ways to solve pressing problems. (Zakhar Abel and Madina Musakhan from the HydroSwale Solutions/Swale project)