Sinterra-eu

This interview details Sinterra, an indoor farming technology company based in Germany. The interview is with Matthias Dicks, Co-Founder & CFO of Sinterra.

Source: Sinterra

What is the origin story of Sinterra?

When we first tried to cultivate plants in a hydroponics set-up, we were annoyed by the handling of various substrates. After some research, we realised the negative impact, single-use substrates have on the environment. Their recurring production and transport creates emissions, their use produces a lot of waste and some have to be handled carefully.

Thus, we set out to find a better, reusable solution. We’ve tested various prototypes over the past two years and the current version can be cleaned and reused multiple times, thus enabling circular hydroponics.

Source: Sinterra

Can you tell us more about how  your substrate-free germination products work? For which kinds of vertical farming, hydroponics systems and plant species does it work best?

After the seed has been placed in the germination chamber of our Hydrostarter, it will be supplied with water by capillary force and its roots will grow through into the water reservoir. As the device consists of two components, the growing slot widens during plant growth and the plant can grow from seed to harvest. In the end, the Hydrostarter can be fully opened in order to release a fully intact plant.

We aim to offer our system for both commercial controlled environment agriculture and private growers that are growing plants using deep water culture (DWC) and nutrient film technique (NFT). So far we’ve successfully tested various leafy greens and lettuce, further, we’ve successfully grown pak choi, chili, basil, strawberries, or cucumbers and will continue to do research.

Source: Sinterra

What are some of the biggest challenges facing Sinterra in the future?

At the moment, we are working on realising mass production of our Hydrostarter. The next challenge will be the integration of our device into hydroponic farms and making it easy to automate the cultivation process. In order to identify which additional equipment is needed, we are currently in contact with possible testers but are still looking for more farms to test our pre-series.

Source: Sinterra

What is unique about Sinterra compared to competitors?

Sinterra offers the only reusable cultivation system that is free from single-use substrates. It is therefore cheaper per use and better for the environment.

Source: Sinterra

How do you measure the impact of your company so far? (Revenue, Employees, Customer Quantity, Production Volume) etc?

As we are still relatively early in our commercial development, so far our largest impact is the know-how, we’ve aggregated from several years of testing. In the future, we aim to measure our impact also in terms of emissions our product has saved.

Source: Sinterra

What have you learned that you wish you knew when you joined or started the company?

We knew it would be hard to find investors, given the current macro climate and our early stage but did not expect it to be this difficult. Further, we did not realise how much time testing and optimisation would take. As we have to wait for plants to grow in order to evaluate our results, our iterations are much slower than anticipated.

Source: Sinterra

How can people connect with you or learn more about Sinterra ?

There are several ways of getting in touch! Check out our website (www.sinterra.eu), find us on Instagram and LinkedIn

If you are a farm/professional looking to test our Sinterra Hydrostarter, please email me at dicks@tilt-industries.eu!

Source: Sinterra

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