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Vishall Singh from Quantified Ag was excited to have finished his pitch at the Pipeline Entrepreneur Innovators Awards. He sat down with Brian Lee from Silicon Prairie News caught up with Singh to talk about the pitch and his company.
Singh entered Pipeline a year ago and pitched at this year’s event. He said he was unsure of what to expect, but he experienced a lot of change over the year with the help of the program.
“I’ve grown as a business owner and as an entrepreneur and a founder,” said Singh.
His business, Quantified Ag, was at the center of his pitch.
“Quantified Ag is more or less Fitbit for cattle,” Singh explained. “We detect illness in cattle early on before the pen riders can do it.”
Singh started Quantified Ag with its current focus less than three years ago in the NMotion accelerator. After that, he raised seed funding, left his full time job and started building a team.
Singh said his idea for Quantified Ag came from 16 year’s experience previously working in ag technology. He did a lot of work with the beef industry specifically and had the chance to really see the problems that existed within the industry.
“This was a pretty big pain point that I could see, and so it made sense to go forward with it,” said Singh. “I already had some expertise there and I already had a lot of connections.”
Focusing on their strengths
He said the first version of his ear tag hardware was based off a development kit that he hacked together to make a proof-of-concept while at NMotion.
“It kind of looked like a science fair exhibit but it worked well enough to prove the point” joked Singh.
From there, Singh said he found an engineering team to actually develop the hardware. He wanted to keep Quantified Ag focused on the software development, analytics and animal science.
The company has just started selling to a few early customers, but Singh expects sales to grow based on demand. He is currently negotiating a partnership with a large company that will help build Quantified Ag.
Building a scalale model
In the next three months, Quantified Ag will also be starting a large trial with a pharmaceutical partner.
“What that means is we’ll have the start of a clinical trial to validate on a larger level to convince more and more cattle producers to buy this,” said Singh.
They’ll also be acquiring more beta customers so by summer they can focus on a big fall push when feedlots start getting more cattle.
Scalability is key for Quantified Ag. In the early days of the company, Singh spent time looking at who else had tried something similar and how successful were they, and if they weren’t successful, why weren’t they.
“Where every single one of them failed was [their] systems worked on a small level but they couldn’t scale to a real feedlot level,” said Singh.
He learned from that and made sure that his technology wasn’t just appropriate for small research studies, but it would actually work in a production environment and could scale to massive levels.
Advice for other ag founders
Singh has talked to a lot of other ag founders in the area and they all seem to share the same complaint that they can’t find capital.
‘When you talk to a lot of the people who are saying that, they’re just trying to go through the known avenues,” said Singh. “What they don’t realize is our state has a ton of very successful ag producers as well that are spread out in rural communities.”
Singh said that they often get overlooked even though they’re sophisticated investors who invest in lots of companies and trade commodities. He thinks those are missed opportunities.
“Be a little bit more open minded and think about your circle of reach towards investors beyond what’s just in [big cities].”