TES network


– Joep Serrarens (

Innovation need(s)

TES has a network of entrepreneurs, engineers, designers and academics that are eager to work on humanitarian innovations.

TES believes that successful innovation starts with defining the right problem. Therefore we want to collaborate closely with humanitarian organisations that can help us better understand the local context and refine our understanding of humanitarian challenges.

We are looking for:
– Humanitarian organizations we can approach to help us refine our understanding of humanitarian challenges
– Humanitarian challenges to which the TES network can contribute

Innovative solution(s) we are working on

TES starts and builds joint ventures to tackle complex problems and create impact.

We believe that ventures are the best way to develop ideas, implement them in markets and scale their impact as sustainable businesses, without continued subsidized funding.

Project example – PLACA:

All around the world cattle farmers engage in a form of agriculture called Extensive Farming, a method that uses almost no fences and is characterized by great freedom of movement for animals on large areas of land, generally resulting in a high level of animal wellbeing. For farmers however, this means long searches for cattle, not knowing when calves are born and vulnerability to theft. The yields of extensive farming are surprisingly high per unit of labour, but fluctuate because of these significant inefficiencies.

Developed economies are investing heavily in smart farming solutions, such as IoT, to improve their farms’ productivity and effectivity. Developing economies, however, stay behind due to lacking technical expertise and capital to invest. According to the World Economic Forum this results in a risk of growing inequality between farmers in developed and developing economies.

TES was approached by the owner of Samudra Farm in Bolivia, where she experiences this problem firsthand. Solutions for cattle localisation and identification do exist but are technically unsuited for the Bolivian landscape and too expensive for smallholder farmers.

We soon fell in love with this challenge and saw the amazing opportunity to enable smallholder farmers in developing economies around the world to compete with global markets through affordable smart farming.

*The start of a venture*
Together with the Samudra farm, we formulated a project to explore if we could develop a solution using frugal innovation strategies. Frugal innovation focusses on redesigning sophisticated products and services, reducing their complexity and costs to create business models accessible to developing economies.

Placa now is a newly founded venture with a 5-person team run by TES and the owner of the Samudra Farm. The TES team consists of an Entrepreneur in Residence who is fully dedicated to implementing the innovation strategy, Hack The Planet with deep experience in developing economies, Wageningen University and Centre for Frugal Innovation as experts on farming and frugal innovation. Together we are now developing MVP, business model and the venture Placa.

Back to coalition overview