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Urban Crops Inc.
Urban Crops has been designing and implementing agroecological food systems since it started in 2011. They have consulted with a range of local food businesses from restaurants to farmers as well as worked with partners and organizations involved in organic local food. Throughout this time they have grown their network and project experience allowing them to become leaders in technology and local food systems.
One of those developments has been the solar bucket and this is the opportunity they wish to get funding for in order to scale this product line with a global potential to support a fast and growing sector of food.
The solar bucket is a portable power unit charged by the sun that allows farmers and gardeners to execute essential tasks needed to grow more food. On their farm they use the solar bucket in water pumping applications, electric fencing, work lights, charging equipment, data collection and also basic automation applications.
- Urban Crops’ original solar bucket is a simple DIY unit that can be built, serviced and modified by gardeners for various applications
- The company has secured suppliers, local assemblers and order fulfillment services in order to scale their original solar bucket. Urban Crops have also sourced and tested a range of tools gardeners can plug into the solar bucket to accomplish tasks
- They are building solar-bucket.com in order to provide the solar bucket and the range of off-the-shelf tools for users
- The company’s latest work has been the development of a wifi-enabled solar bucket, these units are currently undergoing testing and initial user feedback
- Thus far they have received very strong positive responses from gardeners who value the automation and data collection potential of their smart solar bucket
- Funding would allow the company to take their prototype to production and develop an easier to use interface where users would just need to download an app
Gardener Built and Serviced – Urban Crops have designed the solar bucket with easily replaced components which makes it easier on their end in terms of warranty or repairs, but also empowers the user to solve their own challenges, again satisfying the user in terms of hands on learning and also understanding what they are using.
Multiple tools can plug into the solar bucket, some of which gardeners already have – The solar bucket is the portable power unit, it doesn’t do anything on its own except provide power. Various tools can be plugged into it depending on the application. For some gardeners, they might already have water pumps or electric fence energizers they can run off the solar bucket. If users don’t have tools, they can buy and expand over time based on their needs.
Works while gardeners are away from the farm – Almost half of farmers work off the farm, while gardeners certainly spend lots of time away from their garden. The solar bucket runs on its own and doesn’t need an eye or an ear near by. Its clean, quiet and safe allowing users to not need to worry.
Small Scale – There are not lot of options for small scale gardening operations. The electric fence sector has solar powered units that operate similar to the solar bucket, but that’s all they do. But when it comes to other tasks such as water pumping, lighting and charging there are no other options on the market. There is such a hole when it comes to this scale of farming that technology has little penetration on this scale.
Watts to Food – ‘Watts’, ‘amps’, ‘watt hours’, etc. – all these metrics used by the solar industry are foreign to people wanting to grow food. The solar bucket takes these standard industry measures and converts them into food growing potential, a metric growers can relate to.
Cavaleiro Farm headquarters – Urban Crops have multiple units on their farm, doing different types of farm work for different local food businesses. They have leaders in local food designing ecological systems which they can use as demonstrations. This gives them street credit with farmers and gardeners.
Antonio Gomes, Founder
Antonia received his Mechanical Engineering degree from University of Toronto and Masters of Environmental Studies from York University. He also obtained a Business and Environment Diploma from Schulich School at York University and a Permaculture Design Certificate. He started Urban Crops Inc in 2011 because he saw a growing trend of local food and thought there was a lot of opportunity for new technology. Fast forward a few years and farmers markets have multiplied, urban agriculture has grown, UN FAO releases positions to transition to agroecological food systems. Urban Crops works with various local food businesses. They’ve started and currently operate Cavaleiro Farm off which the solar bucket was born 2 years ago. Antonio believes it’s a highly practical and scalable project and will have a big impact on the industry.
Saqib Siddiqi, Co-founder of Solar Buckets
A techie and a foodie who`s trying to connect Millennials to nature and disrupt the future of food. Using his experience in engineering, manufacturing, rapid-prototyping, internet technology(IoT), and agro-ecology to help communities become food secure. Over the course of a 10-year career, Saqib has solved practical business and technological challenges for startups and fortune 500 corporations. Saqib met Antonio during their race car engineering days at the University of Toronto. As the Co-Founder of Urban Crops, he uses principles of lean manufacturing and holistic management to develop technology and tools for smarter, community-oriented agriculture which will engage Millennials. This includes automation, actionable data acquisition and digital media content for the local and organic food sector.
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SHD Smart Home Devices Ltd.
SHD Smart Home Devices Ltd. is developing a décor friendly suite of novel Smart Home and building automation internet appliances which employs the company’s miniaturized power supplies to provide power while enabling the devices to be contained within standard AC outlet utility boxes. This product suite’s proprietary open-source firmware simplifies connectivity and provides application developers a much needed platform on which to build user interfaces.
These internet appliances mount directly into power utility boxes to combine power and connectivity without compromising the existing or planned AC outlets. The appliances are hidden from sight and do not require additional external power boxes or cords, do not obstruct the AC outlets themselves, and do not interfere with the decor of a room.
The company’s first commercially ready product is its USB Power Hub. Future products under development include a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity hub, a WiFi range extender, a Smart AC receptacle, and a combination light switch/security camera. All outlets feature a more or less identical appearance despite their different functions, and provide the ability to measure power consumption at each outlet.
Power consumption and user data is acquired and transmitted to the gateway for managing power usage optimization and minimization of energy waste. This capability enables owners to control and manage energy use. The company’s internet appliance also features hardware and software security layers. Downloadable software apps will allow users to monitor their homes and business through multiple communication platforms.
Décor friendly – Attractive devices with ability to provide uniform looks to match existing or new décor schemes within homes and offices
No user monitoring fees – Avoid ever increasing ISP provider fees by utilizing no fee self-monitoring
Open Firmware – Software developers can easily create apps to support devices
USB Power + – AC + USB Power for any device, to support charging and power needs
Secure System – Multiple security layers, including wireless connectivity, software security coding, and security chip (hardware)
Medical Grade – Available medical devices may be used within hospitals care centres without expensive modification
Green Mode – Highly efficient and smart devices conserve power when not in use
USB Power Hub – AC/USB Power Hub for powering or charging USB peripherals
Smart Wi-Fi Range extender – Extends Wi-Fi signal strength; Green Mode powers device down when no WiFi activity
Smart AC Receptacle – In-wall AC receptacle that provides two AC outlets, as opposed to single plug in box. The outlet has the ability to measure power usage at each outlet
Wireless Charging Mat – Charging mat powered by the IoT power hub to enable mobile phones and tablets to charge untethered to a DC cable
Smart Light Switch /Camera – Home security plus smart light with switch controlled by mobile phone
IoT Communication Hub – Gateway to connect all peripheral within the home and to provide self-monitored home security
Efficient Miniaturized Power supply – Provides highly efficient power for USB and Wi-Fi transmitters while being small enough to be incorporated into the wall outlet
Sat Samra, CEO
Mr. Samra is the co-founder and CEO of SHD Smart Home Devices Ltd. He is a business professional with 16 years of broad business experience in technology, banking and import foods. In 2001, while still in university, Mr. Samra’s co-founded QF International Foods and served as the its President until its sale in 2005. In addition to SHD Smart Home Devices Ltd., Mr. Samra is also the co-founder and President of Megahertz Power Systems Ltd., an R&D company focused on the development of environmentally friendly power systems.
Robert Taylor, CTO
Robert Taylor, SHD’s co-founder and chairman, has 40 years of technology development, technology licensing and technology marketing with M&A experience in the semiconductor and power converter industry. Mr. Taylor has played a seminal role in the development and commercialization of SHD’s technologies and leads its product development efforts.
Paul Gill, VP Business Development
Mr. Gill is involved in the planning and implementation phases of creating new businesses and restructuring organizations. In the public markets, he is currently the CEO of Lomiko Metals (TSXV: LMR). Mr. Gill also works with pre-IPO companies and is the CEO of Lomiko Technologies and Director of Graphene ESD. Through AJS Management Corp., he provides advice to private sector clients.
Jan Lauver, CFO
Jan Lauver, SHD’s Chief Financial Officer, has over 40 years of business and legal experience, including with high technology start-up ventures in fields such as power converters, semiconductors, flat panel displays, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and electro-magnetic compliance test equipment. Mr. Lauver manages the company’s financial, legal and intellectual property affairs.
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Avino IoT Technology Inc.
Avino IoT Technology Inc. is an Internet of Things company with a proprietary engine that can be used to simplify the management of thousands of IOT devices in a user friendly environment with customizable dashboards. Avino will focus on its first vertical in partnership with Dell through advanced data analytics offering the AvinoIoT Smart Building Solutions (ASBS), to provide enterprise energy management services to commercial building owners, helping them reduce energy usage and maintenance costs, while improving occupant comfort. Our solution can also offer significant cost savings by reducing the manual operation required to maintain compliance with many food and safety requirements imposed on some operators. ASBS leverages the convergence of IT and Building Technologies to provide a suite of data-focused services to reduce building operating costs by up to 30%. The continuous analytics improves equipment performance that results in a number of tangible and intangible benefits for building owners and occupants.
Disruptive Technology and Capability
AvinoIoT Smart Building Solutions (ASBS) has been developed with the expectation that it will interface with Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning technology allowing ASBS (with AI) to learn customers needs and requirements, ranging from customized reports to predictive cost saving actions.
AvinoIoT Smart Building Solutions (ASBS) fully developed and owned by Avino IoT Technology
This advantage allows Avino to adapt to our customers and OEM vendors needs in a very quick and responsive fashion with negligible latency in an agile software development environment.
Strong management team, expert advisory board members & established clientele
Each member of the executive management team has close to three decades of experience in his respective areas of expertise. Avino’s board of advisors are industry veterans who are experts in the IoT space including Cisco’s IoT industrial research chair and entrepreneurs and leaders who have started or grown billion dollar companies.
Solution can be integrated with legacy systems and existing building infrastructure through retrofitting resulting in energy savings from day one
Avino offers a solution which is Capital “Light” and Non-Disruptive for the existing building tenancy. Capital “Light”: Instead of expensive retrofits, ASBS optimizes existing equipment to run more efficiently. Non-Disruptive: Since there is no equipment to replace, the building does not need to be taken “off-line” and tenants are not impacted.
Preferred partnership with Dell
Avino has been requested to become a Dell Technology Provider Executive partner and are in the final stages of this application process. Dell will be using the Avino solution platform for its enterprise customers.
As part of being a preferred partner, Avino will have:
- Access to financing from Dell
- Authorized use of the Dell IoT Solutions Partner logo
- Access to Dell’s IoT labs
- Structured contact with Dell Partner Program Team, OEM Development and Sales
- Executive sponsorship, invites to exclusive events, etc. including the opportunity to speak at the Dell IoT Conference
- Established OEM sales contact(s)
- Potential for co-selling
- Potential for joint marketing, events, co-operative marketing funds
- Potential for joint case studies
Avino offers a single integrated platform through the AvinoIoT Smart Building Solutions (ASBS) to track, monitor and control all essential building services. The company has a single reporting structure to manage these services. The different types of reports available are-Annual Reports, KPI Reports, Energy Centre Reports, Building Performance Reports, Profile Reports, Comparison Reports, Multiple Meter Reports, and Carbon Emission Reports among others.
For large building complexes, Avino offers the capability to fully optimize and monitor building services, a process which delivers value over a 5-7 year period through a project management approach. The phased approach consists of Assessment, Integration & Data Collection, and as part of the Continuous Optimization, Analysis & Recommendations, Corrective Actions and Measurement & Verification at the building Project Management Office.
Tom Ma, President and CEO
Tom is a global international business leader with more than 28 years of experience. He has been involved in building and managing companies from the start-up stage to IPO. He is experienced in managing global operation with complex organizational and distribution channels. Tom is a visionary and hands-on CEO who has built companies with global operations in Telecommunications, Government and Greentech. He has developed strategic partnerships with North American, European and Pacific-Asian companies. He has been instrumental in getting strategic investment set up between the Americas and Asia Pacific region. He also possesses well established business relationships in North America and Asia Pacific region. Tom enjoys a strong relationship with major telecommunications carriers, large enterprises and the government in Asia Pacific.
John Daniel Hilton, CFO
Daniel is a seasoned financial leader, with significant experience in the technology sector and strong political relationships. He is the Co-Founder of several capital pool companies and past Chair of the Scout Canada Foundation. Daniel obtained his Chartered Accounting designation with Deloitte LLP in Canada, completed his Bachelor of Commerce with the University of Ottawa and completed his graduate studies at Queen’s University (MBA – Operations and Strategy) and Cornell University (MBA – Finance Concentration).He currently serves as a Director and Audit Committee Chair of Leonovus Technology (TSXV), and Careworx.
Rolf Christensen, CTO
Rolf is a software executive with over 30 years of experience in both public and private sector organizations, who is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Core Migration and Core IT Consultants (Core). Rolf’s career started in R&D and Product Management and has over the year encompassed all aspects of running a successful software company including core Technology Research and Development, Marketing, Operations, Sales and Strategy. In his current role Rolf continues to be responsible for overall Product Design and Development, Product Management, Product Strategy, R&D and Partnerships.
Randolph Carter, CRO
Randolph is a Sales and Revenue Generation expert who possesses more than 30 years of advancement and achievement in IoT, Telecom, DoD and Security systems development with a vast knowledge of the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) industry. He is a change agent and consensus builder with a proven ability to lead and drive large teams with results. He has provided technical enablement and thought leadership on operations, marketing, and business development. He blends technical know-how, and business acumen to achieve unparalleled results.
John Webley, Special Advisor
John is a Fibre-Optic telecommunications expert with over 30 years of experience in starting several successful companies.He has strong interest in Telecommunications and Greentech. He is a disruptive thinker and believes in building big companies because he feels small companies only have a small impact, in his words “If one wants to make an impact in the world, it has to be done on a large scale”. John’s current initiatives are in clean air and clean water. His company Trevi Systems will be the first electric-free, solar-heated system that can economically purify brackish water and remove chemicals. His other company Innovative labs has created air purifiers that capture dust and pollen from indoor spaces, the devices also remove noxious chemicals and their odors, such as formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds.
Dave Johnson, Special Advisor
Dave is a distinguished leader who is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Jenne. He has a career spanning more than 35 years in R&D, product management, marketing, operations, service and sales including sales operations and sales channel strategy, direct sales, indirect sales, and the company’s growing alliances with systems integrators.
Mohamed Ibnkahla, Special Advisor
Mohamed Ibnkahla is a Cisco Industrial Research Chair and Full Professor at the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He was previously at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada and INP, Toulouse, France. He is currently involved in a number of projects applying wireless technology to several areas, including: public health, environment monitoring, wildlife tracking, precision agriculture, food traceability and safety risk monitoring, medication traceability, highway safety and intelligent transportation systems, control of renewable energy, water management, and Smart power grid, etc.