swiftVee is an agrotech startup based in South Africa and it is among the 12 startups selected for the Google Launchpad Accelerator. In this exclusive interview, Innovation Village, interviewed Russel Luck, the MD of swiftVee. Luck threw more light in swiftVee, reacted to their selection and much more. Excerpts

About swiftVee

My name is Russel Luck, Cape Town-based technology attorney and television analyst in the technology sector. I am the Managing Director of swiftVEE and co-founder along with Andrew Meyer – 6th generation farmer, and Alex Molde – our CTO. swiftVEE was established in 2016 as an independent platform for the livestock sector that uses high-level data and analytics to harness the power of cutting-edge technologies. We bring industry 4.0. to livestock agents ensuring that agriculture keeps up with the digital age.

We are a profit motivated company that aims to solve the world’s fundamental agricultural problems through the use of technology. As the world moves towards a digital reality, the agricultural industry remains unchanged. Populations continue to rise which intensifies resource scarcity, food security and trade vulnerability. swiftVEE provides technology to meet these challenges and enhance market efficiency. Through competitive innovation, swiftVEE ensures the business is done better with higher profit margins and wider social impact.

The motivation for establishing swiftVee

South Africa has experienced crippling droughts which has caused livestock to die on the land before it could even be given away for free. This highlights a fundamental inefficiency within the sector. After review and analysis of this problem, it became clear that cattle dying on the land (during drought) happens in the USA, Europe, Latin America and Africa. These droughts reflect an underlying inefficiency because livestock trading is so inefficient. swiftVEE’s solution provides such technological power for a stagnant livestock sector that its value and competitive benefits are identified easily. We’ve seen a massive appetite for pre-launch and potential for wide market adoption. Our application has global scalable potential due to the fundamental inefficiencies in livestock sectors through the developing world and developed economies.

Selection for Google Launchpad accelerator

We’re elated. It’s such an honour representing South Africa on the global stage. It’s also incredibly gratifying as our acknowledgement on the Launchpad program validates all the people and institutions that supported us along the way.

Rising interest in agriculture

Technology changes all sectors as society moves towards a digital paradigm. However, agriculture has been slow to adapt which presents opportunities to entrepreneurs to solve these problems and bring the power of technology into the Agric sector.

The future

In the words of Albert Einstein “don’t worry about the future, it happens soon enough”. We take each day as it comes and we are driven by principles rather than a specific destination. We want to provide a better way for livestock industry players to do business and in the process, we’ll be ameliorating world hunger, resource scarcity and enhancing global food security.

Words for entrepreneur

I often see content talking about being a ‘born entrepreneur’ and having ‘DNA to be an entrepreneur’. It’s true that some people have stronger entrepreneurial traits than others but my message to young people is that everyone is a problem solver in one capacity or another. If you see a challenge worth solving, apply your mind and try it. There are no gurus or text-book methodologies to solve problems- just try and do it. You never lose. Either you win or you learn.