SOUGATA: Korechi Innovations Inc. is a company that designs robots to help alleviate the labour shortage problem happening in the agriculture and golf industries. Our robots automate simple, repetitive (and at times unsafe) tasks on farms and golf courses, for which it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get trained people to work for.
SOUGATA: RoamIO is our line of tracked and wheeled robots for the farming industry. The RoamIO-mini and RoamIO-HCT are traced multi-functional platforms, while the RoamIO-HCW and RoamIO-ZTV are wheeled platforms.
These robots save farmers valuable time and labour costs by performing various tasks, from cultivating, seeding, weeding and mowing to soil sampling, data-logging and more. Our models feature an array of obstacle detection capabilities like cameras, LiDAR and artificial intelligence and can be operated remotely using a tablet with a Wifi connection or a remote, cloud-operated alternative.
Pik’r is our first robot created for the golf industry, which automates the collection of golf balls at driving ranges.
SOUGATA: In my early days as a mechanical engineering student in India, I had the desire to create a business and had been working on ideas for automated robots. At the time, however, my parents thought that I should obtain some work experience before taking that leap into entrepreneurship. So for the next six years, I worked for an Italian company specializing in electronics for the transportation industry and then moved to Canada in 2016.
After moving to Canada, I felt that while Canada is a vast and beautiful country, it can have quite severe winters, limiting specific outdoor activities like farming, golfing and more. Upon investigating further, I learned that because activities like farming and golfing are season-dependent, the employment for these sectors usually is only for a few months every year, making it difficult for these industries to generate a stable workforce. I felt that these were industries that could benefit from using automated robots. In March of 2016, I decided to take the leap. I applied to be incubated at McMaster University’s The Forge and Innovation Factory in Hamilton, and from there, Korechi Innovations Inc. was founded.
SOUGATA: Starting a company was a huge learning curve. I had to learn how to access the right resources and understand my potential customer to reach them. As the founder of a startup, I had to be as multi-functional as a Swiss Army knife, so I had to teach myself basic accounting principles, how to interview candidates, and how to market and sell. More importantly, I had learned how to ask for help.
SOUGATA: Before moving to Oshawa in 2018, I reached out to Spark Centre and applied to be incubated. We were fortunate to be accepted and have since received tremendous support through them. Spark Centre excels in connecting startup founders with mentors who can provide valuable guidance on business development, marketing, sales, and financial modelling. We met many of our current advisors through them. We were also provided with office space and access to meeting rooms in which we could conduct necessary business.
SOUGATA: In 2018, we made our first robot sale, and since then, we’ve surpassed $500,000 in sales and have received over $600,000 in funding. Since the sale of that first robot, we’ve released three additional robots and have developed the complete software suite for our robots on a shoestring budget, which has given us a pricing advantage over competitors in the market.
SOUGATA: We are currently raising our seed round to commercialize our robots and planning to release three new robots in 2022.
SOUGATA: Never hesitate to ask for help. You’ll never know how much vital support you could receive for the success of your business until you ask.