Oct. 18, 2021

749 - Lorea Coronado-Garcia (Spoor) on Building Next Generation Biodiversity Monitoring

749 - Lorea Coronado-Garcia (Spoor) on Building Next Generation Biodiversity Monitoring

Lorea Coronado-Garcia is the cofounder of Spoor. Spoor is building next generation biodiversity monitoring that enables industry and nature to coexist.

 Lorea Coronado-Garcia is the cofounder of Spoor. Spoor is building next generation biodiversity monitoring that enables industry and nature to coexist.

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[00:01:13] Mat Sherman: All right, how's it going, everyone. Welcome to another episode of forward-thinking founders, but we talk to founders about their companies, their visions for the future and how the two collide today. I'm very excited to be talking to Lauria Coronado Garcia. Who's a co-founder of Spoor. Welcome to the show. How's it going.

[00:01:31] Lorea Coronado-Garcia: I'm doing great. And you had a busy day, but it was that it's been fun.

[00:01:35] Mat Sherman: Good. Good to hear. I'm excited to hear more about what you're working on here at Spoor. For people that haven't heard of your company. What are you working on? What isSpoor

[00:01:44] Lorea Coronado-Garcia: So we're on a mission to enable industry and nature to coexist and that's through biodiversity monitoring.

But first off, we're starting with bird monitoring of wind farms where there's this tension building up between how we [00:02:00] deploy lots of renewable energy through wind energy and also take into account sort of the impact on bird life.

[00:02:08] Mat Sherman: So help me understand a little bit of kind of it, I guess the question is like how spore works.

So if you were explaining to someone what the first offering is, your first product is in relation to the realm you just mentioned, how does it work and can can you dive a little deeper .

[00:02:21] Lorea Coronado-Garcia: Yeah, sure, definitely. So basically we're processing camera feed. So we just need the IP address of a camera. That's looking out towards the wind farm, usually monitoring one turbine and we use basically computer vision and AI to detect and track, and then try to identify the species of the bird that we're monitoring. . And then the output is something that comes on to a user interface logging the bird activity, the type of bird and where in the wind farm they were.

So some 3d localization.

[00:02:56] Mat Sherman: And then this might be a really basic question, but this is definitely a different [00:03:00] realm for me. It's, I'm trying to have a base understanding , what's the persona of somebody that would use the product, like who wants this data, who is actively using that?

[00:03:08] Lorea Coronado-Garcia: Yeah. And not just bird enthusiasm, but also basically wind farm developers have to go through a process where they get consent for using an air. So it's part of the early application process where they have an what's called an environmental impact assessment. And so biodiversity monitoring and bird monitoring is one component of that.

But how biodiversity. Is being seen now and it's like under threat and that's well understood now there's more and more regulations going into effect where monitoring across the life of the operations of a wind farm is also required. So that's also part of what we're trying to service.

[00:03:48] Mat Sherman: Yeah. I feel like this is a super core part of the stack which is super, which is exciting. And it'd be leads me to wonder. How'd you even get interested in this? Tell me about the origin story. How'd you get started with Spoor and why Spoor. [00:04:00]

[00:04:00] Lorea Coronado-Garcia: Oh, thanks. Yeah, so the three co-founders asked Helga and myself, we met during antler which is a VC backed startup incubator, I guess it's global. They had come to Oslo. Six months before our program. And we met, we knew we aligned well on values and we had very complimentary skillsets. So the three of us started working together and then we had to find an industry that we wanted to narrow in on. And we're based in Oslo in Norway and Norway is essentially trying to change its workforce and pivot into offshore wind from oil and gas.

So there's a lot of resources and national sort of effort going into developing the service value chain of offshore wind. So that's how we started looking at offshore wind. And when this challenge of the environmental impact assessment kept coming up, it really aligned well with the skillset that we came to the table with.

And we could really make an [00:05:00] argument for why we were the best founders to develop something like this.

[00:05:05] Mat Sherman: So you just mentioned you're in Oslo, which is, awesome. It, for me, it feels so far away. I don't know much about it. So I guess I just have a question. What's it like building a startup over there?

[00:05:15] Lorea Coronado-Garcia: Yeah. I think people say that maybe the startup scene here is five, 10 years, a little bit behind from the U S it's definitely ramping up and catching up. I think in the Nordics. Innovation. Sustainability is like their brand and digital solutions in Norway are very, well-respected like it's on a national level.

Digital solutions are well used as at the country level. So I think we don't have a hard time getting like reputation on that, but yeah, the startup ecosystem investors and valuations that those are more immature than in, in like sort of US, maybe London or some other more aggressive model.

[00:05:54] Mat Sherman: Totally. Yeah. I'm really excited to see how, these markets and markets that are generally [00:06:00] on the rise over the next 10 years, become a dominant force in like just the startup world, because in the United States, valuations are bloated. And I think there's so many investors that are just like, where are they?

Like we gotta get out of here. We got into that. So I do think market winds are on your side for like for the actual ecosystem, but I want to go back to the, to, to the actual company. I have a couple more questions and we'll talk about the big vision here, help me understand if someone was like listening to this and they knew nothing about.

What was going on in the world of macro wise and they just, you did just hear about us for this. For the first time they were like, oh, like what, why is this necessary? Or like, why are they doing this? Can get just like a high level, like why this is important, like what you're doing and how it fits into maybe macro changes in the world.

Because I think that's important to highlight.

[00:06:47] Lorea Coronado-Garcia: Yeah, sure. If we go macro, then you go up like as big as to the issue of climate change where yeah. The world is changing because of human activity. And to do [00:07:00] anything about that, we have to move away from so many greenhouse gas emissions.

And so with that, then we start looking at Deploying more renewable energy which is great, but these are massive infrastructure projects. So they have an impact also, not only on local environment, they have an impact on animal life around there. And so we also see that not just there's climate change, but there's also this big drop in biodiversity.

We're basically in what scientists termed the sixth mass extinction. Protecting biodiversity is just as critical as protecting our climate and doing something about that. So as we deploy these massive infrastructure projects to do something about climate, we also have to make sure that they do something responsible about biodiversity, and we're much further


[00:07:46] Lorea Coronado-Garcia: behind on the aspect of biodiversity.

So I think regulations wise, we're probably maybe 10 years behind where the climate talks are. But hopefully the urgency that we're seeing now may speed up the [00:08:00] progress that we lagged behind on climate. So essentially yeah. It's technology to help report on the impacts on biodiversity.

[00:08:08] Mat Sherman: I appreciate you sharing that kind of the high level to low level. It makes a lot of sense. And leads me to that. The second to last question here. And it's, if we do just magically press the timeline button and move forward 5, 10, 15 years, or 20 years into the future, tell me, what does the world look like when Spoor becomes a really big company or in other words, what's your big vision here and what direction you're going in every day with the company

[00:08:30] Lorea Coronado-Garcia: yeah, I think in the future, we'll have a much better sense of how any of our activities, but definitely at the industrial level have an impact on animal life in and around the area. And also on a broader sense that especially if there's migration and other kinds of things. And so I think the ease with which we monitor and track the.

Those changes and also communicate about those changes that it's quantifiable and it's, there's a clear methodology behind [00:09:00] it. I think those things will become standardized and quite transparent. And also a go-to easy Best in practice kind of method. And in order to make that happen, which would be incredible, you'll need some help.

It takes a village to make a startup work. So my question for you is how can the forward-thinking founder's community help? Are you hiring raising money, looking for customers, beta testers, how can we use. Definitely. The, what we're trying to do is new on, on an industrial new and a customer type of way in market, but we're also doing something new on the tech side.

I'm using computer vision to track animal life and. Trying to use how scientists have tracked in the past, but try to automate that. So absolutely the forward-thinking founder community. It would be interesting to hear more from them about if they have an interest in participating in our tech development.

We're hiring for a data engineer, or of course also going to be hiring for front end back end and full stack. And we're always open to very keen and [00:10:00] interested people.

[00:10:02] Mat Sherman: And then for my last question, if someone wants to learn more on the internet and just dive in, where can they find you online? Do you have a website social media handle, or like an email address? How can someone learn more?

[00:10:12] Lorea Coronado-Garcia: Yeah, our website is Spoor.ai \and we're working to update that one and we're also quite active on LinkedIn.

[00:10:20] Mat Sherman: Cool. Thank you so much for coming onto the podcast. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

It was very fun.