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Mapping Platform LandKind Wins HortTech Challenge

Landkind, an agriculture mapping software company out of Tauranga has won the first Sprout x AWS (Amazon Web Services) HortTech Challenge.

Image: LandKind’s mapping software enables farmers to make sustainable choices.

LandKind’s mapping software enables farmers to make sustainable choices.

On 2 December, three finalists with businesses aimed at solving some of the biggest challenges facing horticulture in New Zealand, pitched in person and virtually, to a room of industry leaders and world-class judges for the opportunity to accelerate their ideas.
 
Horticulture is a segment of the agriculture industry specialising in producing, processing, and shipping fruits and vegetables. Applying science and technology to optimise these processes is called horticulture technology, or HortTech. 

Major problems facing the horticulture industry include challenges such as water usage, traceability, genetics and automation. For many of the entrepreneurs in the industry, the future of horticulture lies in addressing these growing issues, as well as consumer demands, and requires real-time in-depth data.

“Landkind has a platform technology with wide applicability for digitising agricultural land and the processes on it,” says Sprout Marketing Lead, Chelsea Millar. “Sprout is looking forward to working with Landkind to enhance their value proposition as a product offering.”

LandKind founder Matt Flowerday says that applying for the HortTech Challenge was a no-brainer since their mapping software enables farmers to look at their practices from a sustainability perspective.

“There was a good synergy, and it fitted where we were at, at the time,” Flowerday explains, “We had just launched into the environmental sustainability space. We were focused on doing stuff with water, and then when we saw the challenge we said, 'Hey, this sounds exactly like what we are doing."

With new opportunities on the horizon already for LandKind, Flowerday says he’s most looking forward to getting greater insights into his business with the help of mentors and fleshing out their story to bring it to a broader audience. 

“It’s great to see many of these start-ups leveraging data, analytics, and machine learning to jumpstart solutions such as catchment-level precision mapping, effective crop management via smart software, and environmentally friendly fruit stickers. We look forward to seeing these ideas come to life,” says Haren Samarasekera, the Head of Small and Medium Businesses at AWS.