US agricultural machinery firm Deere & Company is launching the Startup Collaborator program in its Intelligent Solutions Group to enhance and deepen its interaction with startup companies whose technology could add value for John Deere customers.
“Our focus for the Startup Collaborator is specifically on startups that want to work with John Deere in real-world customer environments to determine the technology readiness of their innovations,” said John Stone, senior vice president of Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group.
Mr Stone said the Startup Collaborator provides flexibility for Deere and startup companies to test innovative technologies with customers and dealers without a more formal business relationship. Startups also gain affiliation with and mentoring from a world leader in precision agriculture.
“Innovation has been at the heart of John Deere for more than 180 years,” Mr Stone added. “The Startup Collaborator welcomes innovative companies into a program that could help us drive improved results for our customers.”
Three leading startups working to transform agriculture are already part of the program:
Bear Flag Robotics – A Californian company developing autonomous technology for farm tractors and implements to reduce operational expense and increase worker safety.
Hello Tractor – A Nigerian company with a strong understanding of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa that has developed an application to manage tractor fleets for small holder farmers.
Taranis – An Israeli company that has developed an automated field scouting service based on sub-millimetre aerial imagery utilising deep learning for problem detection and analysis in agriculture.