Meet the Founders: Tau Research

Meet Sophie Chen and Rahat Hasan, two of the team behind Tau Research, one of the companies in our 2021 Cohort A.

Driven by innovation, Tau Research is focused around a data platform that helps farmers and growers make better decisions when it comes to tech adoption. Aiming to improve farming practices through innovation and increased availability of technology through lower price points and improved usability. 

The company focuses their time on agritech research and development, data science, analytics, AI-enabled moisture sensors and IoT. 

True techies, the team behind Tau Research includes CEO and electrical engineer Rahat Hasan, who moved to New Zealand from London five years ago to gain his PhD at the University of Waikato and Business Consultant Sophie Chen, who studied electronics and computer science and is currently completing her masters in business consultancy. The team also includes a commercial specialist and three developers based in Bangladesh. 

Upon realising that there is an unsolved opportunity in agritech, the team wanted to help make technology more available to farmers and growers.

“We felt that the agritech space lacked innovation and we wanted to contribute to it. For us, it’s not just about farming and agriculture, it’s about feeding the world”.

However, as the team comes from a predominantly technical background they have grappled with understanding the challenges of their customers. Overcoming this challenge by partnering with people who have the knowledge they lack, working to deliver high-value products that customers want and need. 

In the short term, Tau Research aims to become every agritech company's data strategy. Their goal within the next five years is to expand to gain a strong market share and build their reputation across a large customer base. 

Currently the team is working on a patented AI algorithm that automatically calibrates moisture sensors in real-time for any soil type and determines soil’s water holding capacity and refill point. 

“The solution is achieved through the help of machine learning and pattern recognition techniques, and our AI allows for more accurate irrigation scheduling based on data from soil moisture sensors. It’s a hardware-agnostic solution, meaning it will work with any sensors that are sensitive to soil moisture change such as TDR, FDR, and Capacitive”. 

Such a solution will allow both local and international agritech distributors to incorporate their existing moisture sensors and provide a more comprehensive irrigation solution to their clients. 

Long term, Tau Research is interested in adapting its technology to work on innovation projects in smart cities and renewable energy. Their vision is to contribute to creating a sustainable future that will benefit generations to come. 

Personally, the team is motivated by learning new things, energised by the startup experience, helping companies become successful and as Rahat jokes, by the possibilities of one day being able to own a yacht.

We’re thrilled to have Tau Research as part of our Sprout 2021 Cohort, and are excited to see what’s around the corner for them.