In the startup world, it's often said that progress, not perfection, should be the goal. However, Ole Kristian Sivertsen, the founder of Desert Control, has made remarkable strides since becoming a finalist in the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) 2022 Global Finals, and his journey continues to unfold with great promise.
Sivertsen, a member of the GEN Starters Club since March 2023, competed against an impressive pool of global applicants and secured a spot in the 250 global finalists. Now, his company has once again emerged victorious, winning the Uplink Challenge for Food Ecosystems in Arid Climates.
The World Economic Forum recognized Desert Control for its innovative approach to addressing food security in a time of intensified droughts and desertification. Sponsored by the Ministry of Economy and Planning of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and supported by 17 partners, the Uplink Challenge identifies and promotes scalable innovations advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
At the heart of Desert Control's success lies its patented Liquid Natural Clay (LNC) technology. This transformative solution combats desertification, soil degradation, and water scarcity by converting desert sand into fertile soil, significantly reducing water consumption and increasing crop yield.
"LNC can turn desert sand into fertile soil, significantly reducing water consumption and increasing crop yield. It's a breakthrough solution to one of the most critical environmental challenges we face today," Sivertsen explains.
Victory in the Uplink Challenge represents an incredible opportunity for Desert Control to join the UpLink Innovation Network, an elite community encompassing innovators, partners, experts, mentors, governments, policymakers, and investors within the World Economic Forum.
Sivertsen believes the visibility gained from their win at the EWC, especially in the sustainability and environment category in Riyadh, was instrumental. The spotlight strengthened Desert Control's position with the Ministry of Economy and Planning of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other key stakeholders, who play a pivotal role in funding, supporting, and evaluating the World Economic Forum and Uplink Challenge.
On July 3rd, Desert Control entered into a strategic agreement with Holistic Earth Advanced Regeneration Technologies SA (H-EART) to become a licensed operator for the production, sales, distribution, and implementation of Liquid Natural Clay (LNC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The agreement marks a significant milestone in Desert Control's transition to a royalty-based licensed operator structure for the Middle East and unlocks cash, reduces operating costs, and allows Desert Control to leverage the capacity and reach of local partners while dedicating additional resources to core business activities and accelerating development in the United States and other markets.
The strategic partnership with H-EART marks another milestone in Desert Control's strategy to enhance its business model for the Middle East and enables Desert Control to implement its vision more effectively across the Middle East region with the support of its local partners. The transition to a licensed operator model was initiated, unlocking markets and commercialization opportunities.
From the EWC Global Finals to the Uplink Challenge victory, from strategic agreements to global recognition, the story of Desert Control is a story of progress, promise, and a vision realized.
In a world grappling with intensified droughts and desertification, Desert Control stands as a beacon of hope, showing that with innovation and perseverance, even the most arid landscapes can bloom again.