SwineTech

Winner

Matthew Rooda
SwineTech, Inc.
New Sharon, IA
SwineTech, is an Iowa-based company located in New Sharon, striving to be a leading producer of farrowing monitoring systems for sow farms in the pork industry. Our mission is to leave no piglet behind.
Last year over 13 million piglets were crushed in the U.S. alone, and this cost the pork industry over $689 million dollars.
SwineTech's product will be sold all throughout the world and will maintain a reputation for having superior quality. While SwineTech’s sales have yet to get under way, the demand for their product “Echo” continues to grow in this $21 billion market.

Last year over 80 million piglets died because they were laid on and crushed by their mom. This is costing the average corporate hog farm over $276,000 a year. Last year about sixty percent of the piglets died from being laid-on by sows, which is over fifty percent higher than the next leading cause of piglet death loss, the next being disease.
During Farrowing, sows lay down to rest after eating, and crush their piglets. During the first couple of litters, sows are more aggressive when a piglet squeals, and are more prone to stand. However, older sows are larger and their joints are no longer what they used to be and this leads to more crushed piglets. A sow will typically have ten to fourteen piglets a litter and is capable of having 3 litters a year, with up to 14 litters in a lifetime. On average, one to three piglets per litter will die from being laid on.
Echo is a device that’s strategically placed on the side of the farrowing crate, that is special in the fact that it focusses on all aspects of the problem. It hits each aspect by following 3 distinct phases/features.
First, the “Preventive Feature” will analyze the temperature of each crate and adjust it to optimize the piglets’ health. This is a preventive approach because the optimized climate encourages the piglets to wander from underneath their mom when they are not eating.
Second, the “Proactive Feature” will be able to analyze the piglet’s squeal and detect is one is being laid-on. SwineTech’s design works by continuously sampling the audio input stream, and identifying lay-on events by the unique combination of audio frequency, volume and duration. After a programmed delay to allow the sow to stand up on her own, Echo will alert the sow with an initially gentle impulse, graduating to a higher strength signal after another delay until she stands up, saving another piglet’s life. Echo will deliver a gentle impulse to the sow alerting her to stand up, giving the piglet enough time to escape out from below. When the sow lays down to rest, piglets tend to be underneath seeking warmth or food and, in some cases, the sow will lay on her piglets, suffocating them. When piglets are being laid on, they deliver a very loud squeal that tends to last approximately thirty to sixty seconds. Echo will pick up those frequencies and communicate to a device on the sow’s flanks. This is the device that will deliver the impulse to the sow. The device is similar to an A.I. Buddy, which is a belt-like structure that will be located around the flank of the sow.
Third, the “Reactive Feature” will alert a farmer, via an App or Email, when an abnormal activity is occurring within a farrowing crate. The collar, acting as a Fitbit, will take the sow’s vitals and allow farmers to better understand what is going on in each pen. The benefits of using Echo include: less laid-on piglets, healthier piglets, fewer pressure sores, cost savings on medications, and thousands of dollars in additional revenue. Some of the long term benefits are: sows will be healthier and as a result live longer, produce higher quality and quantity of milk for piglets, and the sow can increase the number of piglets in her next farrowing cycle.

Our profit margins for "Echo" are 76% at a price of $1,000 per unit. SwineTech’s sales will occur through a direct sales force, because it is the most effective in establishing a solid customer base and in building a good reputation. Our target is to hit 14% of industry projecting $56 million in revenue in five years. The pork industry is growing faster than any other form of livestock and shows a continued growth trajectory over the next five to ten years. SwineTech is in a position to capitalize on this by helping farmers increase their production and revenue at an average of $109,000 per year at a low input cost, outperforming their competitors, and an aggressive marketing and sales campaign to ramp up the company’s growth projections for the foreseeable future.
The money will be used to pay for supplies and manufacturing of our field trials devices. This will validate our product's efficiency and will give us reliable data to show our costumers. We will be running fields trials and this would help with creating ten more products to test. This would allow us to expand, which would help create jobs within our community. We are still a risky venture so capital is hard to come by. We are trying to run field trials in order to validate the idea to increase our evaluation, so that we can more effectively raise funds.

Current Rank

4

Number of Votes

205
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