Environmental tech startup Lord of the Trees, which specialises in precision drone planting, has been chosen to join Google’s sustainability accelerator program.
The Sydney-based startup was selected to attend the five-month program because of its innovative use of drones, robotics and AI to tackle climate change.
Using tech, science and Indigenous knowledge, the ecosystem restoration startup plants seedpods in areas of deforestation worldwide, founder Aymeric Maudous tells SmartCompany.
Maudous, who launched Lord of the Trees almost two years ago, says he’s excited to participate in the accelerator program and receive one-on-one mentoring.
“The initiative was launched in 2019 to champion actionable progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” Maudous explains.
The accelerator offers a handful of startup founders personalised training to help them develop their businesses with the support of mentors from Google and external experts.
“We’ll be working closely with engineers from over 20 Google teams, and other subject matter experts to address product, engineering and funding challenges,” Maudous says.
Lord of the Trees directly addresses three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: climate action, life below water and life on land.
Maudous says he also runs the businesses with a commitment to gender equality, decent work and economic growth, and responsible production, which all fall under the United Nations’ goals.
Since its inception, Lord of the Trees has quickly scaled to service customers in Australia and overseas.
Currently, Maudous is in discussions with two leading universities about working on blue carbon projects that will address wetland issues.
“One is in Queensland, where there’s a buffer zone between the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef,” he says.
Overseas, Lord of the Trees has deployed its tech to help rebuild forests in Greece after wildfires, and was contracted by a government in South East Asia to help it meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
“The way we first structured the business was to be fully scalable very rapidly,” Maudous explains.
Lord of the Trees and its mission to tackle climate change has also caught the intention of investors, and the startup is nearing the close of its first capital raise, with a target of $400,000.
“It has been a long six months but it’s great. We’ve got some great interest from local investors and international ones too,” the founder says.
“The challenges are huge,” he adds.
“We just want to be part of the solution and develop a technology that would respond to the enormity of the crisis that we’re facing.”