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Thursday, 14 July 2022 16:56

Global Greenhouse Challenge Winner Koidra Hires the Veteran Business Leader from Microsoft to Support Growth

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Koidra, an artificial intelligence of things (AIoT)-enabled industrial automation platform company, announces two significant developments. First, Team Koala, led by Koidra, won the third edition of the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge (AGC) at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in Bleiswijk. Team Koala was the only AI team that outperformed the Dutch reference growers, providing 27.8% more in net profit than the reference growers, along with the lowest operating cost. Second, Koidra announces the hiring of Soojung Smith as their Chief Business Officer.


In this third edition of the competition, five international finalists were selected out of 43 teams from 23 countries. Each of the finalists grew a lettuce crop using a fully autonomous algorithm. The goal was to use the lowest feasible input of resources, such as energy and CO2, while producing the maximum number of good-quality heads of lettuce. Each team created their own AI algorithms to autonomously determine the set points for temperature, amount of daylight and artificial light, heating, and CO2 concentration—along with other cultivation-related parameters, such as crop density, spacing moments, and day of harvest.

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Koidra’s founder, Kenneth Tran, led teams winning the first AGC competition in 2018, the online challenge in 2021,  and the growing round of the third challenge in 2022.  Seeing the potential of AIoT in transforming greenhouses, Kenneth launched Koidra with a mission to build an autonomous growing technology scalable across greenhouses, vertical farms, and crops—and more broadly across process-based manufacturing industries.

New Hire

Soojung Smith brings a wealth of strategy, sales & marketing, and operations experience in the U.S. and globally to Koidra in her new role as Chief Business Officer. Her experience includes time spent with AT&T as a Director of Marketing & Sales, and with the international consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers as their Head of Strategy Consulting Unit, Southeast Asia Practice. During a 10-year tenure at Microsoft, Smith launched and scaled Office Cloud business and Office 365, and she led the global Enterprise sales group’s transformative change to cloud initiatives by building a new worldwide sales planning and operations team. She also founded two startups, while coaching startup founders and their leadership teams, providing an ideal base for her current position with Koidra.

The AGC win, coupled with the hiring of Smith, provides impetus and a strong base for Koidra as it continues its growth not only in indoor farm automation, but also in the wider field of industrial automation.

About Koidra Inc.

Koidra is a VC-backed and AIoT-enabled automation startup based in Seattle and focused on industrial IoT for agricultural and industrial applications. Koidra was founded by Kenneth Tran, a former principal applied scientist at Microsoft, with a mission to transform controlled environment agriculture, sustainable agriculture at large, and traditional automation using AIoT technology. For more information, please visit www.koidra.ai

Read 813 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 July 2022 17:01