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The desire to make an actual difference in the world combined with IoT skills triggered the formation of the startup SoilSense. Using intelligent software, the enterprise is able to measure and analyse water in the agricultural sector to the effect that the limited water resources may be used as efficiently as possible. Since 2020, the enterprise has received legal advice through BB Impact.

Take short baths. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. And replace the water hose with a watering can when you water your flowers and bushes in the garden. We are probably all familiar with and aware of the global water crisis and all the small adjustments in our everyday lives that are steps in the right direction. However, since crop watering stands for more than 70% of the global water consumption, this is where a more efficient approach to water usage may make a great and notable difference.

This is, at any rate, what Jesper Alkestrup believes, one of the four owners and founders of the startup SoilSense:

"The climate agenda is often exclusively about our CO2 footprint. However, we are also facing a water crisis, which means that as early as in 2030 we will be short of 40% water resources on a global scale if we continue our current water consumption, the core of which lies within the agricultural sector. This is where to find the solution to the problems we face."

No more analysis
This knowledge created a launchpad for the idea and development of a sensor system and thus the formation of SoilSense – along with trips to Zimbabwe, Peru and Kenya to, first of all, learn from the agricultural challenges in locations where resources are scarcer and the need more critical than in Denmark.

"We realised that the largest hurdle for farmers is that they are already very busy. The fact that they also need to perform analyses during their workday is not appreciated. Accordingly, our data-driven sensor system consists of intelligent software, which automatically notifies the farmer when the crops have been watered too much," says Jesper.

Using the sensor system, the farmers do not have to spend time and energy on data analysis. The system has become popular in Denmark and abroad for several reasons:

"It was in fact the COVID-19 pandemic that made us end up in Denmark again. Even though water is not similarly in short supply here in Denmark, we have many visionary farmers who want to enhance their water consumption efficiency. They furthermore improve the quality of their crops, as adequate water consumption eliminates the risk of losing nutrients."

Groundwork assistance
Besides offering general support for farmers, SoilSense has also managed to give life to an enterprise underpinning two of the UN Global Goals: Goal no. 2 to end hunger by promoting sustainable agriculture as well as Goal no. 6 to ensure availability of water for all, to which SoilSense contributes by reducing water consumption.

In that way, SoilSense satisfies the criteria for applying for BB Impact partnership, which it did back in 2020:
"For us, it was about laying the groundwork for becoming the big business of our dreams. If our structures and agreements with, say, investors are not of the best quality from the beginning, it may potentially block the way for us expanding later on. To get this part under control, we chose to apply for BB Impact partnership," says Jesper, and he continues:

"It has been a great help to be able to draw on the legal expertise of Bech-Bruun at this difficult intermediate stage at which we are right now with serving new customers and interested investors. We have witnessed excellent and swift reply times and an understanding of what it means to be a startup," says Jesper.

Read more about SoilSense here.

If your startup wishes to apply for a BB Impact collaboration with Bech-Bruun, we should like to hear from you. You may read more about the programme and send your application here.

What is BB Impact?
BB Impact is a collaboration programme invented by Bech-Bruun, the purpose of which is to support the 17 UN Global Goals by way of focused collaboration with innovative startups, working for a sustainable future. A BB Impact partnership includes, for example, 50 hours of legal advice and subsequent consultancy services at a reduced price.

Read more about BB Impact here and do not hesitate to contact Thomas Gjøl-Trønning, responsible partner, if you wish to learn more about the programme.