Giving the small town of Tavistock a big name in agritech and innovation, SoilOptix® has raised the bar for traditional crop management practices, reaching 14 countries worldwide with its soil-mapping technology and ever-evolving innovation. Founded in 2013 by Paul Raymer, SoilOptix® started small by offering Ontario growers the opportunity for the application of precision agriculture management. In 2017, the company was commercialized, seeing rapid expansion with its tech-forward approach to precision soil mapping.
Using gamma radiation sensors and physical soil samples, SoilOptix®’s technology helps develop high-precision and accurate soil maps that are utilized by growers around the world for crop management and development. This input aids in decision making for every part of a grower’s field, allowing them to understand the soil properties of roughly every 11 feet of field, with this vast amount of information dictating decisions that, in turn, yield a maximized potential crop. Traditionally, soil sampling only looked at one point per hectare in a field, with the imprecision of this technique affecting overall crop growth. Narrowing down the mapping into smaller sections with meticulous precision through SoilOptix® sensors, the fields can be zoned and addressed so that seeds are given the best chance at survival and success.
SoilOptix® is a recent i.d.e.a. Fund recipient. Supported by a $10-million Government of Canada investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the i.d.e.a. Fund is led by Innovation Guelph in partnership with five Regional Innovation Centres (RICs): WETechAlliance, Haltech, Innovate Niagara, Innovation Factory and TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario. The program helps high-potential ventures access the tools they need to succeed by providing financial and business advisory supports to develop or redesign products, services, processes, and technologies that reduce impacts on the environment and create made-in-Canada solutions.
“The exciting new solutions that Canadian innovators are able to develop thanks to the i.d.e.a. Fund will position Canada for a successful future for years to come. Using cutting-edge technology, SoilOptix is creating the information systems that farmers can use to continue feeding more and more Canadians,” said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “The i.d.e.a Fund, funded by the Government of Canada, will help create good jobs, support our transition to carbon neutrality and continue to build a more innovative economy that works for everyone.”
“Until becoming recipients of the i.d.e.a Fund, much of our process has been extremely hands on,” said Zach Harmer, North American Sales & Global Support Manager at SoilOptix® Inc. “We have a great team of data processors working with all field and property stats that come into the office, but in order to sustain our growth beyond this fiscal, we knew that continuing the process manually wasn’t possible.”
Spearheading and accelerating opportunities for automating its data analysis processes, SoilOptix® implemented new tools to streamline manual labour and automate for efficiency. The company introduced a portal map that pre-processes the majority of the data and modeling currently being used with the majority of its North American clients. Investing in server infrastructure that assists with its capacity for more work, SoilOptix® has improved its scope to prepare for substantial growth. Accessing coaching provided to i.d.e.a Fund recipients, SoilOptix® worked closely with TechAlliance’s Manager of Startup Advisory and Venture Growth, Andrew Leest, to navigate the decisions that will see its business flourish. “TechAlliance’s advisory has been able to help us make this project as best as it could be,” says Lori Davey, Operations Manager at SoilOptix®. “Andrew helped support and direct our team to put the dollars where they needed to go and leverage industry resources to plan for this exciting growth.”
As Limitless 2023 Gamechanger Award finalists, being recognized as a company whose culture is paramount to the success of its business, SoilOptix® is no stranger to southwestern Ontario’s vibrant and supportive tech and innovation community. As one of the leading #agtech companies in the region, the company’s ability to collaborate, connect and innovate is recognized and appreciated by many.
To learn more about SoilOptix®, go to soiloptix.com
To learn more about the i.d.e.a. Fund go to techalliance.ca/idea-fund
To learn more about FedDev Ontario, go to https://ised-isde.canada.ca/site/feddev-ontario/en