Inspired by Failure
Sticky Pesticide by Maher Damak
Maher Damak has a passion for solving tough and important problems. He first realized that pesticides were so inefficient about 6 years ago and he quickly set out to come up with a solution, now called Sticky Pesticide. In fact, 98% of sprayed pesticides do not serve their purpose because of natural elements such as wind and because most plants are hydrophobic and repel the pesticide liquid.
Maher started out talking with farmers and planters to get their perspective and integrate their feedback into his process. He was committed to the product being biodegradable, which sent the team in the direction of electrically-charged polymers. Using scientific literature and conversations with farmers using pesticides, they have been able to create a product that can be added to the existing pesticide spraying process but make it 10x more efficient.
Sticky Pesticide involves one positively charged and one negatively charged stream of liquid that create an electrostatic attraction and change the surface of the plant to accept the pesticide spray. The next steps for Sticky Pesticide are field trials, testing at MIT, forming a startup, and taking the product to market.
The best advice he has received was to know your users. He has done his best to heed this advice by openly communicating with farmers and growers about their needs and how he can create a helpful product. His biggest frustrations have been development and waiting on field testing, but he is hopeful that Sticky Pesticide will soon be serving its purpose and increasing growers’ efficiency.
“We are building on others’ work.”
“People don’t realize that pesticides are so inefficient.”
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