Mobility, the movement from one point to another, like other sectors was equally impacted by the imposition of the internet in the 3rd industrial revolution. Now in the 4th wave of technological advancement, mobility has yet again been rapidly impacted. The global trends have impacted mobility to the point of autonomous driving. There have been spill‐over effects in vertically integrated mobility value chains such as mass‐transit modes, rail, and aviation. On the one end are emerging nano‐transit modes like dock‐less bike and electric scooter sharing. Disruptions have been impressively jaw-dropping over the years with fintech innovators like Uber taking the lead. Innov8 will gauge and engage shared mobility, autonomous driving, electric vehicles, geek cultures, virtual office and drone technology. While all of this rapid change is exciting, the question becomes ‘What is the impact on the start-up?’ Is it anti or pro start-up development and growth? Join us for this exciting topic to find out more.
The Gryphon Corporation is a mobility innovation company that has created a platform that will work to enhance the business model of small to large scale farmers -
“I have a farming background, and growing up with parents who practiced subsistence farming using old traditional methods. I remember spending the whole day at the farm performing menial tasks such as removing weeds, applying fertilizer and spraying the crops. It would take days and days for four of us to finish the 5-hectare plot that we farmed. Growing up having been equipped with the privilege of agricultural experience and graduating top of my class at The University of the Witwatersrand Aeronautical Engineering, we decided to use our knowledge of machines to add value to the farming community we came from.
We learned that there are more than 3 million families in South Africa (and more than 30 million in Africa) involved in small-scale farming. In spite of their reliance on small scale farming, we further discovered that these farmers did not have the privileged to access convenient and efficient farming practices, nor did they have well-established channels of distribution for their produce. As a response to this lack or limitation, we responded by designing a crop-spraying platform that small-scale farmers would benefit from. The platform would assist with the active deployment of, and innovative synergy with, advanced design skills and developed technology, which would subsequently leapfrog the lack of infrastructure in most of Africa’s small-scale farms.
Although the platform was designed with the small-scale farmers in mind, it is also designed for medium and large-scale farms, as it proposes a cheaper, more efficient, reliable, and readily available crop-spraying platform.
Apart from the need to perform menial farming tasks (such as efficient crop-spraying), we also identified the need to add intelligence to the farming cycle. We collect data of the farms at regular intervals, and use this data to advise farmers on best case farming practices and decisions. This includes the crop imagery, which is taken from the drone as it sprays over the crops. We also collect data from ground -sensors. The time progress of the data is then used to improve subsequent farming seasons through the use of AI and machine learning algorithms. The addition of such an active feedback loop to the "farm", is likely to result in the learning of useful correlations and allows us to farm better and increase important indices such as the crop yields per unit hectare, decrease costs of producing one kilogram of yield, and increase the yields, and yield quality per unit time.
We envision to develop more agricultural innovations in the near future, with the goal of increasing food security, and decreasing the cost of attaining that security.
Before we joined The Innovation Hub Maxum Smart Incubation Programme, we were like "inventors in a vacuum", only focused on the technical aspects of the product. Maxum brought meaningful business insight. We have since been involved in a number of business training sessions, and have had a number of one-on-one sessions with subject matter specialists, that have assisted with meeting milestones.
With the assistance of the SSP grant, we have been able to develop a prototype, and we will be piloting in March 2019.
In 2018 We were recognized by the SAB Foundation as one of the most promising social innovators in the country for the year, and were awarded a finalist position for the contest, with a combined value of over R350 000 (Grant fund and Business Development Support). In just one year we have moved from being “inventors in a vacuum”, to entrepreneurs with a product and business.”
Co-Founders of Gryphon Corporation Clive Mathe and Sam Mathekga will be exhibiting at the Innov8 on 28 February