Chilean startup InDiMin arrived in mining technology hub Brisbane, Australia last week to access two unique opportunities: taking part in the MIT Entrepreneurs Bootcamp at QUT and participating at the Komatsu: Transform Mining hackathon from 23-25 February 2018 at River City Labs.
Unearthed recently caught up with InDiMin Co-Founders Loreto Acevedo and Alvaro Diaz to find out more about their Smart Mining Coach industry efficiency technology, to ask why they have ventured half way across the world and to discuss their views on the mining industry’s level of engagement with the Chilean startup ecosystem. Here’s what they had to say:
InDiMin is a digital innovation startup delivering solutions for mining companies. Could you please explain the industry problem that you are solving and the scale of this problem in the global resources sector?
A serious challenge in the mining industry is efficiency. In the last 10 years, productivity has gone down over 28% around the world. During the extraction process each day, mining sites are missing over 30% of their target loading capabilities. This equates to more than US$5 million and over 50 million tonnes in losses per site/fleet each year.
Also, most operators are not adequately skilled to successfully accomplish their job’s objectives. For example, one mining truck can have more than 2000 serious incidents of damage per year caused by bad operational behaviour.
Can you describe how InDiMin’s solutions address this industry challenge?
InDiMin has developed Smart Mining Coach, a digital personal trainer designed to unlock the productive potential of people, assets and processes, by using big data and developing analytics models combined with expert mining knowledge.
Smart Mining Coach allows General and Shift Managers to predict productivity gaps, allowing them to make better and more informed decisions by providing them personalised feedback of their teams in order to accelerate learning and improvement actions, leading to a breakthrough efficiency in the mining process.
Being based in Santiago, Chile, how engaged do you think the mining industry is with local startups and entrepreneurs in Chile?
Thankfully, in Chile there has been a huge push to create an innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in recent years. Therefore, we are currently positioned as one of the best places to launch a startup in Latin America. The Chilean mining industry represents ~9% of our GPD and the government has developed a special program to increase innovation in our industry “Minería Alta Ley”. Because of this initiative, a lot of companies and startups have been developing new products and services adding value to the chain. The mining industry is changing, companies are taking more risks and including small businesses as their suppliers. Of course, there is still room for improvement. It would be great if they could move even faster, because for our companies a month can be like a year, so we are often fighting against time.
How does this compare to other cities and countries around the world that you have worked?
Innovation and entrepreneurship is a global trend that we love, as there is nothing better than thousands of passionate mates across the world trying to solve difficult problems and challenges. Most cities seem to be contributing more and more to the global ecosystem.
What are the main factors that you think contribute to a creating a collaborative environment for startups and industry?
Definitely trust – between mining companies and startups, and also between startups. If we are able to create a trusting environment, everything is going to flow.
You are currently in Brisbane to attend the MIT Entrepreneurs Bootcamp at QUT and to participate at the Komatsu: Transform Mining hackathon. How did you hear about these opportunities and what made you interested in pursuing them? What do you hope to achieve from participating?
As entrepreneurs, we are always looking for opportunities, particularly in markets that we are interested in, like Australia. We found the MIT Entrepreneurs Bootcamp at QUT on the EdX platform, because we were improving our skills by a MooC. We applied, and we were selected as one of the 120 successful applicants out of 1,500+ people. MIT Bootcamp is an opportunity to be trained by the best in innovation and entrepreneurship, expand our network of contacts, and iterate our value proposition with fellow entrepreneurs and MIT educators.
We heard about Komatsu hackathon through our incubator Emprende Fundación Chile, a specialist in mining startups who have a strong relationship with Unearthed. We consider it an amazing opportunity to show Komatsu how we could add value to their company and their clients’ companies as well.
What do you find attractive about working with mining companies? Why do you think startups should dig mining?
The mining industry is attractive for many reasons. Firstly, because it is an ancient industry that has helped countries to develop and that has an enormous environmental responsibility. And the most important reason for us is the people. For many years miners have at times endangered their lives to extract minerals. This industry has a huge legacy. As the main global producer of copper, Chile has to lead the way and try to improve the industry every day.
Thank you to Loreto Acevedo and Alvaro Diaz for taking the time to share their mining innovation insights.
We wish InDiMin all the best in their future endeavours improving productivity of people, assets and processes in the resources sector.
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