Connecterra is a fast-growing agricultural technology company specialising in artificial intelligence for farms and farming. The Amsterdam-based startup’s first product uses Google AI to create digital sensors that farmers can use to monitor their livestock's movement and general health. Co-founder Saad Ansari refers to the device as ‘a Fit-Bit like device for cows’. Saad and his co-founder Yasir Khokhar have plans for future devices and technologies that all relate to building artificial intelligence that will learn to grow food sustainably. Connecterra is listed as one of Top 100 AgTech companies by CB insights. They were nominated for Startup of the Year in 2015 at Web Summit, Startup of the Year in 2016 by Dell and in 2017 they won the Global Game Changer Award at #DemoDay from Google.
Connecterra’s CTO and co-founder was looking to handover some responsibility as the company grew, and part of this included a new Director of Engineering. From a product perspective this was previously all done by the CTO, he needed someone to come in and take on the team management and effectively free his time up to focus on business strategy and the wider product development side of things.
We had previously successfully placed candidates for Connecterra and so they came to us looking for help to find this new hire. While the ideal candidate didn’t need a background in agriculture, they did need to come from a large technology company. Connecterra were soon to be entering a round of fundraising and these brands would add credibility to the team when speaking to investors.
The Chaseman team quickly mapped the market to create a target list for their ideal candidates. The mandate from the Connecterra team was that they wanted someone from large, corporate tech companies, so we began by targeting those businesses in the Netherlands. Outside of this we also looked at rising stars within start-ups too. We drilled this down into a strong shortlist featuring candidates from companies like Tom-Tom, Google and Booking.com.
The absolute stand out candidate was from Booking.com. It also happened that they had done a Masters at Stanford University in the US at the same time as the CTO making them an excellent cultural fit straight away. They had similar experience from Booking.com and managed a similar sized team. The candidate wanted to move to a company that was not only fast-growing but was also going to have a longer-lasting, positive impact.
Connecterra have since reported back that their new Director of Engineering had a really positive impact straight away. Connecterra’s CTO emailed Steve Collins (Lead Consultant for this role) to ask for advice for his wife’s job search. If that’s not proof that they were happy with the level of service and expertise provided by the Chaseman team then we’re not sure what is.