The use of robotic technology is on the rise in all industries including agriculture. And robotics has made its way into our 2018 Corporate Accelerator Program! This week we are highlighting Pharm Robotics and their high-tech solution to a real problem on dairy farms.
Tell me about Pharm Robotics! How are you impacting the everyday lives of farmers?
Today, dairy farmers around the world struggle with giving thousands of vaccines and reproduction shots to their cows every year. Compliance and training new employees on the right way to give shots are just two of many difficulties with the current system. Even worse, employees often have the challenge of finding and identifying the cows who need shots!
To put this problem into perspective, a reproductive program could require six visits to one cow, and we miss just 5% of the cows at all visits. That may not sound like much, but in missing those 5% of cows, we have just reduced the effectiveness of the program from 100% to 70%. That’s a huge problem!
To address this, Pharm Robotics has created a patented robotic injection system called SURESHOT to administer pharmaceutical products like vaccines and reproduction products to dairy cows.
As dairy farmers ourselves, we have a combined twenty plus years of experience in the industry. We milk about 2,500 cows and give about fifteen shots per cow each year, which adds up to around 35,000 shots every year.
Using SURESHOT, my co-founder and I can save about $85 per cow on labor, keep our cows healthy, and get an additional $200 per cow simply by obtaining a 100% compliance rate.
In our case, a more efficient vaccination process would earn our farm an extra $700k a year for our 2,500 cows.
What were some of your goals in coming to the Sprint Accelerator? What were you hoping to get out of the program?
Our main goals in coming to the Corporate Accelerator program was to find out how to establish an agriculture technology firm; receiving assistance in various areas of business development from the consulting workshops; and, ultimately, securing the funds needed to build our prototype.
Our goal is to have the prototype up and running by the end of the accelerator program and to have the business in full force by this coming winter.
How have things been going with DFA so far? Any exciting developments?
The program has put is in touch with experts from both Sprint and DFA, and each of them have been able to provide us with many opportunities. We have been able to meet tons of people with a lot of different perspectives on our project. All of the opinions and perspectives have been useful in moving forward with the creation of our product. It’s also helped us narrow down who our target market will be, and we’ve worked a lot on this in our elevator pitch!
Being a founder of a startup can be difficult. How has the program helped you become a better leader or helped you better handle those challenges every founder faces?
Attending this program has definitely been an eye opener. It’s helped us to see what all goes into the formation of an agriculture technology firm. Alika Chuck, Co-Founder of Pharm Robotics, was unable to attend the first two week session because he is still an undergrad at Chapman University. But this program has really enabled him to become more confident in his leadership style and understand the fundamentals of the Pharm Robotic business model.