Future Farm, semi-finalist team Lake Winnipeg ’20 Challenge, work with AquaHacking Alumni program to continue app development

By Mélissa Dick
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Future Farm is a team with members Atefeh (PhD candidate of water and environmental engineering), Arash (programmer and software design expert), and Hajar (PhD and expert in nutrient removal techniques). The team competed in the Lake Winnipeg 2020 AquaHacking Challenge, pitching their solution which addresses water and land management issues at the virtual Semi-Final event on June 11, 2020. While Future Farm was not selected to move on amongst the top 5 teams of the Lake Winnipeg Challenge, the team is still very motivated to continue developing their tech solution. 

Future Farm is developing a solution to help agricultural producers manage nutrient application on their farms, in an effort to protect downstream effects to bodies of water. Agricultural runoff to the surface water contains a load of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) which are the major factors in creating toxic algal blooms in the lake. Algal bloom have caused various problems in Lake Winnipeg and many other lakes in Canada. These blooms can decrease the oxygen levels in the waters, resulting in fish kills and reduced biodiversity. They can also cause foul odours and tastes, diminishing the recreational appeal of the waters, or their potential for use as a water supply source. Agricultural producers look for a new cost- effective solution to improve water quality but existing solutions are hard to implement or very expensive and/or hard to  integrate as a feasible solution for farmers. The app that team Future Farm are developing provides individualized advisory service for producers based on statistical modelling and machine learning algorithms. With subscription to the mobile app, producers will be able to practice reduced nutrient application, and they can also benefit from environmental practice plans such as EFP (Environmental Farm Practice) and access markets for their yield. Competitor analysis shows a good opportunity in this field for Future Farm.   

As members of the AquaHacking Alumni community, the team members of Future Farm can still access many of the business development opportunities available to the top 5 finalist teams. At this stage, they are looking for a mentor to help them outline priorities for the continued development of their startup, and are looking to attract a new teammate with business & marketing expertise. 

They will work closely with the AquaHacking Alumni Program Manager to access these resources and maintain momentum from their project development in the Lake Winnipeg AquaHacking Program. If you know of any resources that may be helpful to Future Farm at this stage of their development, please contact