Artificial Intelligence in Soil Analysis with Adrian Ferrero of Biome Makers
The demand for healthier food and the fear of food shortages have had farmers scrambling for answers for years. Vertical farming has emerged as a solution, but its not scalable enough to feed a growing global population. Thus, farmers have had to rely on chemicals – until now. Innovative minds at Biome Makers have come up with a better solution, utilizing AI to understand the biological makeup of the soil, how microbes are interconnected, and how farmers can leverage this knowledge to grow via biological improvements vs chemical treatments.
In this episode, I sit with Adrian Ferrero (Co-Founder and CEO of Biome Makers). We discuss his team’s transition from Spain to the US, applying AI to soil analysis, supporting farmers’ efforts to produce quality food at scale, methods of delivering insights to farmers, organizing data needed to train AI models, and much more.
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Show Notes with Timestamps (VIDEO):
1:40 Born in Spain and moved to Silicon Valley for the startup dream
3:01 Why Biome Makers needed to move out of the Bay Area to grow
4:02 Origins of Biome Makers | Applying AI to soil analysis
5:54 The impact of microbes on food production/farming
7:54 Analyzing the soil and understanding the network of microbes to predict
10:34 Enabling farmers to leverage biology versus rely on chemical treatments
14:29 How Biome Makers delivers its insight to farmers
16:02 How farmers save money, improve efficiency and quality of crop, and commercialize carbon credits
18:51 Identifying, collecting, selecting valuable data to train AI
23:04 Messaging is important | learning how to deliver data-driven insights to farmers
27:41 Working alongside agronomists and corporate owned farms
33:13 “We have 700 clients in 35 countries”
36:17 Getting backed by US investors – $8.5mm total raised capital
39:40 How investors have helped accelerate Biome Makers success
41:00 Favorite tech tool
42:10 Who inspires Adrian: Former CTO of Illumina
Previous Episode: Tiffany Hicks, Founder & CEO of HacWare