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Techponics, one of the new StartLife Accelerate startups:

"Our leafy-greens cultivation system combines advantages of DFT and MGS at a low investment cost"

According to co-founder of the Swiss-based start-up Techponics, Louis Belloin, growers find today's cultivation systems (such as MGS) quite expensive with a clear lack of flexibility. He says: "We believe that what growers need is a simple, inexpensive automated soilless system that combines high flexibility with high automation" With its most recent development, an automated cultivation system for leafy greens on a hydroponic pond, Techponics aims to fill this gap. The company is selected as one of the 15 startups in the 12th cohort of StartLife Accelerate.

Techponics was founded by Benoit de Combaud. Leveraging on his 15-years experience in developing soilless cultivation systems for leafy greens. The comapny was created, together with Henri and Louis, in 2020, to provide a highly automated leafy greens soilless system that would combine the benefits of DFT and MGS at a low investment cost.

Spacing over a DFT pond is the key to Techponic's innovation
According to Louis, the key to Techponics' cultivation system is within it's spacing system, that is deployed over the pond which maximizes the productivity. "Our system uses gutters, pretty like in MGS, but they are bottom-less to allow the roots in the nutritive solution", Louis shows.

Another key feature he puts forward is that the spacing is completely software-driven, meaning that cultivars can be changed on the fly, including the ability to change gutters and reconfigure spacing when desired. "At the same time, growers have all the benefits from DFT, notably its resilience and permissivity as the pond acts as a buffer in case of downtimes. Using DFT also means that the system costs remains very low compared to MGS. Finally, dynamic spacing also allows for high automation of all steps of the growing process, up to the harvesting. A key feature for an attractive leafy green growing system."

Hardware and software
"Our hardware is simple and robust. We put the controlling layer in the software", he continues, emphasizing that growers need sturdy systems that they can rely upon, a key concept the team has focused on all the way through the development of their system. "Relying on software driven spacing is also what sets apart this system in terms of flexibility, a feature we believe is key to growers."

Commercialization phase
The Swiss company, headquarters in Switzerland, aims to serve both the European and Northern American markets rather than focusing on a specific country. "We're currently benefiting from an undeniable interest from key players in the industry, and are now engaging with growers to deliver our first commercial units in 2024", Louis says. They have also recently closed a seed round to finance its expansion.

Another development is the company is one of 15 startups selected for the 12th cohort of StartLife Accelerate. This support program for innovative early-stage startups in AgriTech and FoodTech helps them to address what's crucial to validate their business, raise funding and grow the company. Earlier participants include Organifarms, Voltiris,, Corvus Drones, Fotoniq, Fermata , CE-Line, and Crocus Labs.

For more information:
Louis Belloin
+4178 319 87 78