Wafa’ Omoor and Safa’ Yaghi, are aspiring youth. Eager to enter the world of entrepreneurship and innovation as computer and energy engineers, they applied to the AgriMinds hackathon as soon as they saw the post online. They both instantly clicked following their first meeting. During the brainstorming session, which is part of the AgriMinds Hackathon, they came up with the idea of Fertilizer Pen, a modern technical agricultural solution utilizing solar energy that a recommends the optimum amount of fertilizer and irrigation needed by the plant. It also provides observations and recommendations on the best crop for farmers to grow.
After more brainstorming and discussions with the trainers, Wafa’ and Safa’ realized they were missing the agriculture and mechatronics expertise. Accordingly, they contacted a couple of friends and coworkers. That is when Nour Shorafa, a Mechatronics student and Ibrahim Jarrar, an Environment and Sustainable Agriculture graduate joined the team. With those two new talents, Wafa’ and Safa’ felt more confident with their idea and the team grew.
Following the various trainings the team received during the hackathon, it was clear that their idea generation, pitching, planning, financial comprehension, and data collection skills have significantly improved. Additionally, and aside from the team’s soft and business skills, members have gained plentiful amount of new information on renewable energy to assist them in enhancing their innovation. Ibrahim stated, ‘I now recognize the importance of sustainability and preservation. Generating renewable energy alone is not the complete solution to solving power issues around the world, but that preservation also plays a substantial role”. Additionally, Fertilizer Pen team has found the product development sessions, alongside business planning and startup legalities extremely beneficial. The team believes the sessions enabled them to design, develop, and test the solution, for further analysis of gathered data.
With days of hard work and dedication, the Fertilizer Pen won and got the opportunity to go through incubation phase. The team’s emotions were all over the place, especially during the celebration their friends threw for them during a ceremony organized by the Palestine Technical University – Khadoori student council.
Following the training sessions, the team faced a challenge during the designing phase of the devise. The team was hoping to develop a pen that is conveniently small yet includes all essential technologies such as sensors, WIFI chips, and solar panels. Unfortunately, it was not easy to include all the specifications in a small-sized pen. Hence, the team underwent multiple trials, and they believe there is space for more improvements. In the midst of all existing challenges, members believe that working as a team added value to their experience. . The varying points of view and the diversified knowledge made them grow and learn from each other. The team spirit has been instrumental for members of the team, especially in problem solving since each has a distinct field of work and a different background.
Fertilizer Pen’s next steps include improving the artificial intelligence used in the project, but this will necessitate the collection and analysis of a large amount of data. Once the artificial intelligence has been fed enough data and is able to achieve the team’s expectations, they will move on to the physical design and production of the Fertilizer Pen.
Following the hackathon, team members took part in a variety of entrepreneurship-related activities, and they won first place in Technopark’s agricultural hackathon, Cocreate My Future, with a liquid fertilizer pitch. Also, Safa’ has been invited to participate in a renewable energy training program in Romania.