With almost a year since entering CropSafe into BelTech’s annual Dragon’s Den EDU competition. We wanted to take a moment to look back to almost a year ago to where our journey started with CropSafe and hopefully inspire other young entrepreneurs and developers to take advantage of this springboard into a career in tech or kick start their potential business. Applications are open once again for 2019!

BelTech EDU’s Dragon’s Den competition shortlists four post-primary teams from across the country to answer questions from judges on stage based off their app idea. Shortlisted competitors are chosen after submitting a report on their idea and creating a short video to show to the judges. Now’s your chance to bring that app idea you always had to life!

We came up with the idea of CropSafe (predicting and detecting crop contaminations and diseases using satellite imagery) at a local hackathon after noticing the lack of modern-day solutions to monitor crop health without farmers having to spend hours every week to manually survey their crops. An idea born in a weekend, we obviously didn’t have much time to research and validate our market. Following up on our investigation, we began conducting research into crop contaminations and diseases – how they affected crops and how they were mitigated. With results from local farmers that showed immense interest in our idea, we knew that CropSafe had the potential to help benefit farmers worldwide. Knowing we needed a push and funding to bring our idea forward, we found that BelTech EDU was hosting their annual Dragon’s Den app pitch once again for a chance to compete for a prize of £1000. This was the perfect opportunity to raise funds and interest in our idea.

After winning first place last year with CropSafe, we were able to take our idea global, from an idea sketched in a notebook, to a startup pitching in front of over 150 investors in the heart of Silicon Valley within months of winning BelTech EDU

With this year’s competition coming up soon, we want to encourage other young developers and entrepreneurs to take advantage of this amazing opportunity which helped open so many doors for us. Here are some tips we’ve put together to help you with your entry!

A solution to a personal problem

Think of a problem that affects you or someone you know regularly and what is currently done to combat it. Can you help improve this solution using technology? Would it save people time, money or anything else they might value?

What’s your business model?

Your idea should be sustainable and will need to make revenue one way or another. Apps often focus on in display advertisements or purchases. Try to think out of the box –  Would someone be willing to purchase the data my app will collect? Would a business be willing to purchase the app for their company?Would potential customers be willing to pay a subscription fee if you bring them a continued service? Ie. Spotify & Netflix

Make it personal

Bring a personal story into your app report. How could the app affect yourself or someone you know?

Brand it

Something you don’t need to spend much time on yet but often adds a nice touch to your report or presentation. Create your idea a quick logo using a free tool such as Canva.com. This can help bring a sense of professionalism to your project.

Research your market

Know your market inside out. Know all your competitors and be able to explain why and how your idea differentiates from them and why your customer would choose your idea over them.

Anticipate the questions

If you’re lucky enough to make it to the Dragon’s Den, the most important thing you can do is prepare your answers. With CropSafe, we pitched our idea to everyone we knew and asked them to ask us their top five questions. Writing all of them down, we were able to pick out the most common questions we were asked and then prepare answers; What technology did you use/plan to use? Where do you get your data? Luckily enough on the day, the judges asked those same questions!

https://beltech.co/edu-competition/

Have any questions? Tweet us @Crop_Safe or drop us an email! [email protected]

  • The CropSafe Team
Categories: Blog Post