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Kamil Cupiał

5 Jan 2023

Gary Fowler and Greg Slota: The Future Of Weather Forecasting
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Avoid crop losses and increase your yields with effective weather forecasting and weather window recommendations.

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Attention all tech, agri and business enthusiasts! You don't want to miss this exciting live event featuring Gary Fowler [GSD Venture Studios], serial AI entrepreneur with 17 startups and an IPO, award-winning Senior level executive with 28+ years of success in global strategic innovation leadership, sales, marketing, operational and investment management ???? 


During the event, Gary will was joined by Grzegorz Slota, the CEO of MeteoTrack Agro, who will be answering questions about the future of weather forecasting, especially in farming areas.

Grzegorz Slota's vision of the inevitable weather around us says that we should start planning any activities by determining its impact. Greg has over 20 years engineering experience in IT. The best technical and economic universities in Poland, combined with experience in multi-million projects. Flexibility, dialogue, understanding along with openness to different views and changes are part of the game-defining his approach to project management, product implementation, and organization leadership. 

Greg Slota holds a master’s and engineering degree in Environmental Engineering from Cracow University of Technology, postgraduate degrees obtained in the field of mathematical methods, IT and databases in meteorology and hydrology as well as R&D projects from Warsaw University of Technology and Cracow University of Economics.


Click here and watch it on Youtube

Click here and watch it on Linkedin 

Audio Transcript (generated by Descript)

Gary Fowler: [00:00:00] Hello everybody. It is great to be here one more time today and my name is Gary Fowler. I am the president. Founder and CEO of GSD Get Shit Done Venture Studios, located in the heart of Silicon Valley. I've been involved in a number of startups, 17 and several unicorns.

I was on the original management team at Click Software. Which was sold to Salesforce for 1.35 billion. And also Eva AI and ai HR tech company that I [00:01:00] co-founded with Dr. David Yang. We believe that intellectual capacity is evenly spread around the world, but opportunities are not. And with that, I'd like to introduce an incredible guest.

So I'd like to introduce Greg Slota. He is the CEO of Meteotrack. We are gonna talk today about the weather. You know, some people say you can't control the weather, but you can control the impact on your business. And Greg is one of those persons. So he is got an incredible, incredible, incredible background from education Polytechnic Krakowski with a degree in engineering, a master's degree in engineering, and an ms.

Environmental protection. So I'd like to bring him on board. Hey Greg, how are you doing today? 

Greg Slota: Hi. Hi Gary. All is fine here. Can't complain. And how are you? 

Gary Fowler: Fantastic. So tell us a little bit about the weather. I mean, it's, you know, so where does all this start? You know, we, we have incredible weather. I know in California right now, [00:02:00] in Northern California, we're having bombastic cyclones, bomb cyclones. So where's this all coming from? And, you know, where are we with it? Why is it so unusual? 

Greg Slota: So, so as you said, it's a, it's your sentence and it's brilliant that, that we, that we can't control the weather, but we can control the impact on your business. So, so it's, you know, it, it captures the imagination already.

So it's fantastic because in one, in one sentence you put all important things because, because we know that weather is everywhere. Weather affects everyone. We can't avoid the weather, but, but, but we can be prepared. So, so brilliant sentence. Thank you very much. I will use it if you don't mind regarding Meteor Track and, and Meteor Track and Weather.

So that's true that that weather, the weather is behind Meteotrack Project. We can say that, that we grew up as a, as a weather product. So, [00:03:00] you know meteor Track as a, as idea started around five years ago. , I worked I, I had I had dealt with many IT projects working in Institute of Pathologic Water Management.

It's a polish national hydrological and meteorological service. Mm-hmm. . And you know, in that time I observed, but it's still valid nowadays that number of data sources increases dramatically, rapidly, very rapidly wise. Weather applications or an environmental applications can't keep up, you know, can't cope with with so many data sources.

Greg Slota: So that. That was the first thing. I observed that time. The second I asked a question. We all know we, we all know calculators or configurators for banking products, for, for cars, for insurance. Why don't we create calculators on configurators for weather? [00:04:00] because as I as, as I said, the weather is everywhere. So that's those, those two things, let's say, started with your track. So, so in that time, I tried to, to find answer, and we can say that that Mi Mico track appeared as an answer for, for those two things. So so we started with with, with Map as a user interface. You know, it, it was our first idea.

Because, because the map is very universal, it's international, it's intuitive, and it's very flexible. So it's open for, for many data sources. So that, that was our first first point. And now when you open material track, you will see, you will see the map as the interface, you know, with, with no buttons, if possible, with no buttons, with no searching box, with no scrolls and, and, and stuff like that.

So so that, that was our first first thing and the second answer. [00:05:00] The second answer was we, we designed. Our weather algorithms, we designed our weather algorithms. So, and, and they are our, our base now for agriculture product. But, but also we are thinking in in, in long term goals. They are, they also will our base for, for something new then.

Gary Fowler: So tell me a little bit about it. So, you know, we weather affects all different parts of our lives, whether that's retailers and what kind of products that they need to have in their stores, whether it's manufacturers of different types of products and having the right product, the right place of the type time.

But then we go down to agriculture and, you know, as we all know, the weather can have a disturbing in a positive. Positive impact on our agriculture or it can have a negative impact. So what are you doing for agriculture and you know, how does it [00:06:00] really impact the farmers? 

Greg Slota: Yeah, yeah, sure. So, so in agriculture we can see that the weather is, is the most critical factor, you know, for, for safety, for, for production, cost, for, for. So so few, few years few years ago we did our research for agriculture. We had our. Own internal product discovery project with farmers, with farms. In that time also, we acquired our strategic partner. It's the Top Farms. It's a very huge company. It's a, it's a market leader, agriculture market leader in Europe.

So they have. Mm. They have farms, they have farmlands. They are food supplier. So, so, so I can say that time it, it was turning point in on our way. Mm-hmm. And what we did we We defined our, our product for agriculture in that time. So, one thing, what is important because we, we, we are not [00:07:00] only practitioners we have also scientists on board, we cooperate with also University of technology.

 Polish academy of Science university Agriculture. So, so we are, you know, we are a good mixture of, of experts. But again, going back to this, to this point it was our turning point. We, we then, we designed our meteor track for agriculture. So Maybe I before I go farther with this topic. I will very briefly describe how our algorithms works because it's, it's important. So we have three levels of of weather algorithm. The first one is is our data comparing algorithm. We conduct multi-dimension comparison for, for, for every methodological parameter, for every season, for every time, horizon, and forever.

Special variability and, and we put some rankings for, for every data sources. So that's our first level of of our algorithm. The second [00:08:00] one is when, where we, where we, where we merge data from, from all of our data sources into one data data string. So what we, what we have done, we have the best.

Points from our data sources match together in one data stream. So this is very important and very very important step. And finally, we have a third level of our algorithms. We, we call them weather optimization algorithm. And simplifying. We are able to show where or when it's better to perform given activity.

So we have three steps in, in our chain, in our path of, of our algorithms. And now I got a question for you, Greg. How accurate are you? How far out can you predict weather? So so , so our, our approach with, with calibrating data is, you know, is very unique. So I can say that again, so if we, if we compare [00:09:00] every.

Methodological parameter we can find the best data point or the best data source because mm-hmm , some of, some of data sources are better for temperature, some of them are better for for precipitation. So again, we, we, we, we do the same with, with season some, some data sources are better for winter, some are better in.

In, in summer special variability. We also compare data in terms of special variability. Some, some data sources are better in Australia, some better in Europe, and so on. So that, that comparison, that multi dimension comparison go out though, Greg, how far can you forecast the weather like you're going out?

So if there's a farmer that's gonna plant soybean, Yes. How far out time can you say with some degree of accuracy that this is gonna happen, that something 

now it's seven days and, and I think that that's, that if we are thinking about the accuracy, you know, to be, to be honest, the seven days [00:10:00] is, is all you need.

And and it's, it's the, it's the enough time period to, to deliver weather forecast. And I think that, that if we, if we can try to extend it for, for two weeks, for example it is more magic than than science. So, you know. Now how does this compare, like the, you know, there are companies like ACU Weather in the us in State College, Pennsylvania.

Gary Fowler: How does it compare to companies like that? What are you doing differently? What's the secret? . 

Greg Slota: So I think that our algorithms are are so you know, it's because we, we compare forecasted data with observed or measured data. We use world methodological network. We, we have 300 stations spread around the world.

So, so I think that that is our. Our magic factor, you know, so . Well that sounds incredible. So that's great. And, and so so you know, with the farmers, what are some of the future [00:11:00] steps, the further steps in development plans for farmers? Where do you want to go with that and how big is this? . Yeah. So if we can go back for a while to this, to this point when we, when we defined our product, because that time we've been creating a, a special optimization weather window algorithms.

So, so it is, you know, the next, in this third level of our algorithms. So now we are able to, to indicate where and. Particular given treatment or activity should be performed on field. So, so we can say that, that, that we are decision support system for farmers' daily duties. So that's our that's our product for a agriculture.

So now we support five activities and 13 crops. Mm-hmm. . So, but what we. As, as a, as a decision support platform platform. We deliver we deliver knowledge and information about weather windows. So what we [00:12:00] like to to do is, is to extend it, you know, because, because We know we all, we, we, we all know about rising prices of fertilizers, fuel, chemicals, and all those things are, are mostly connected to to soil, to field and crop.

So we have our weather windows. We know about the climate change and stuff like that. But what is important also is, well, we're hearing a lot about that today out in California. Let me tell. There go bombastic cyclones. I never heard of bomb cyclones for until last two weeks actually. Yeah. So, yeah. So, so our next step we'd like to predict soil moisture, carbon index, and Ation phase of plants.

So that, that's our next steps on our roadmap. So then we will, we will cover, we will cover entire cycle, you know, entire, entire cycle and all aspects related [00:13:00] to field management. So, so that's, that's what we like to, to deliver in next steps. . So what about, you know, but if you look at it, the weather impacts all parts of our business all parts of our lives.

Gary Fowler: Mm-hmm. , and especially now with global warming where average temperatures around the world could be up four and a half to seven degrees Fahrenheit. By the end of the century, 80% of the freshwater in the Antarctica, you've got the Gulf Stream salon down. And whether that's highly unpredictable in a lot of parts of the world.

So how do we go down through. Wrap our arms around it and what other industries. I know you're starting in agriculture, but what's next? 

Greg Slota: Yeah, so, so it's very, very important, important thing you, you, you touched. So you know, it is something we, we call our long term. Goals. So, so I can say that, that, that we are on the mission to help people to better adapt to climate change.

So, so, so that's our long-term goal. And regarding regarding What you said. So did you [00:14:00] know that some crops invented for, for Africa climate are currently being checked for European farms even even in the north or east? So no, that, that happens. So they're actually checking crops that are developed for Africa in Europe to get prepared for the global.

Gary Fowler: Yeah. Yeah. So that, that's, that's amazing. That is, you know, and I don't know about this, Greg, but I heard that there's parts of the world that places like Canada are gonna become the bread baskets, because as the temperatures change, we're gonna have dramatic increases in, in you know, positive weather in places like Canada.

It's gonna be, they're gonna be bread baskets. 

Greg Slota: Yeah. Yeah. And so, I mean, it's, but we got, you know, part of it is adapting to change. because it's not about, you know, what we're gonna do 10 years ago. It's about can we feed the population today? Yeah. And especially now with the population around the planet's going from 8.1 billion to 13 billion.

Gary Fowler: 2050 we have to [00:15:00] double the food supply to feed everybody. So we better get down through and understand the weather. Now, how much more crop yield, and I'm not asking for across every one of the crops, but on average, how much more crop yield do you think a farmer could get by. Buying the service, buying the product from you, what do you think? What, how much more crop you?

Greg Slota: I think that that the range is 30 to 40%. That's, that's what we can deliver as a, as a product and as a profit for them. So 30 to 40% more crop, I mean, think about how many poor that's just solved. The problem of being able to feed the. . Yeah. But exactly. But, but we need to remember that, that that mature track or in general some, some tools for agriculture.

It's not only yield, but also savings, also safety. So, so there are many aspects. Yeah. But regarding, regarding yield, I [00:16:00] think that that 30 or two 40% is possible. So, so it's a huge amount. Yeah. I think you're, you're right about the safety, safety. Savings and yield. Mm-hmm. , the key is we're gonna have to feed these people.

Gary Fowler: to do, have the right product at the right place, at the right time. Yeah. We're gonna anticipate, I mean, it's very interesting that you said they're testing in African crops developed for Africa in Europe. I'm sure that's happened all over, but nobody's talking about it, you know, because some people are saying, Greg, there's no global warming.

What do you say about that? Any. What, what's, because I hear people say it. It's crazy. Yeah. Am I, can I, what what I can say that, that we, we have African crops in Europe, so that's, that's my answer. . There you go. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm pretty sure we're gonna have the African weather. I mean, I, I met with a guy many years ago, Irving Krick.

Irving Krick had been a student of Einstein when Einstein was a visiting professor at Cal. From Princeton and Dr. [00:17:00] Krick developed a non-linear weather forecasting. And I don't know if you're familiar with him, but Irving Krick and he did a long range weather forecasting model using historic weather and those kind of things is patterns.

And one of the things that that you know, we were talking about, this is back in the early nineties, is about the Gulf Stream slowing down and the impact on the business. Places like London, where parts of Europe we're gonna. Snowstorms and he was actually going down through and talking to me about what the impact I, now this is back in the early nineties and back in the early nineties.

Yeah. It was hard to fathom that somebody's telling you that like, Nostradamus, what was gonna happen? The Gulf Stream was slow down. There would be severe flooding on the east coast of the United States. At some point in time, you'd have to take a boat to get to Fenway Park, and I remember him telling me this stuff.

You know? Right. But here we are today, the third bombastic slight clone. Bombastic storm system in California, flooding taking place exactly like Dr. Crook had [00:18:00] talked about then. So we need to be prepared and we need companies just like media track to be able to help out and we wanna be able to feed the population.

Greg Slota: We better move faster than slower. And you know, you're like a diamond in the rough coming out of Poland, you know? Most people don't realize how many incredible technology companies are located and places like Warsaw, right. and what kind of a global impact. So as I've said many times, you're like a Ferrari in the garage.

We gotta get you out and you know, get you on the street. It's not about keeping it in the garage, it's about driving it and winning Formula One. So what's the future? I mean, what do you think in terms of the global market? What's your vision of the next year? What's gonna happen over the next year, and how much, how important is it for companies across the board?

And let's start with agriculture to focus on weather.

What I know it's what we'd like to, where we'd like to be with, with material track as a product. So you know, if we have this, this, this tool for. Accurate prediction based on weather, windows, based on soil and crop conditions.

Gary Fowler: But still made for points, but for points, I mean for farms, farmlands for fields. So, so our plan is to extend them for, for entire region? No. So our, our idea is to move from points. to Aria. Mm-hmm. , you know, and then and then we, we will deliver, we'll deliver the best solution for farmers receiving in return knowledge and data.

Gary Fowler: In order to run our global, global yield for a customer model. So, so then we can, you know, be, be a part of this of this business and, and provide some some value, some hints for for, for, for global food production chain. [00:20:00] No, that's great. And so, In closing, any, any thoughts for the audience? What, so you're talking about agriculture right now.

Well, I appreciate you taking your time outta your day scheduled to get together with us. How do people reach you if they wanna reach you? What's the best way we link? What's your LinkedIn and email or website? Can you give that? Sure. Sure. So link LinkedIn's is, is proper way I think.

Greg Slota: And also you can visit our website. It's getmeteotrack.com. So there are, there are our contacts, contact form. It's, it's also convenient way. So if I can at the end, Terry. Mm-hmm. One sentence because, cuz I know that, that people from, from u a g and from meet your track are watching. So thank you.

Thank you guys. Thank you. Thank you team. You are the best. So . No, that's great. It's always good to have a great team. Fantastic to have a great team. And remember to Ali [00:22:00] out there, you can't control the weather, but you can't control the impact on your business. Check out media track. They're incredible company.

Gary Fowler: Greg's done a great job and the entire team is really looking forward to make our world a better place. So I want to thank everybody for joining us. One more time again for G S D presents, Silicon Valley. And my name is Gary Fowler and I am your host a tune for another exciting addition.

Gary Fowler: We'll be back again next week and in the interim, stay happy, stay. And stay healthy and believe in your dreams cuz dreams do come true visualize. Thanks everybody, take care of yourselves. So thanks for joining us. Stay tuned. We'll be back soon. Thank you. Thank.[00:23:00] 


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