Action Learning

Extending Precision Agriculture Beyond Aerial Imaging

Credit: Dan Meyers

Ceres Imaging is a venture-backed agriculture technology company headquartered in California that uses multispectral aerial imaging and analytics to help farmers both reduce their environmental footprint and increase profitability. Ceres approached MIT Sloan’s Product Management Lab (PM-Lab) to inform the company’s decisions about launching a new product that integrates ground sensors with Ceres’ signature aerial imaging.

MBA ’22 students Lillian Kwang and Lydia Kaprelian began the project by researching the market space and interviewing stakeholders, including growers. They benchmarked sensor options, outlined ideal performance in a proposed alpha product, and suggested pricing and packaging models. The students found that Ceres can improve customer “stickiness” (a measure of how likely customers are to renew their service subscriptions) and generate high average value and revenue per acre.

Both students described the project as an eye-opening experience. “I learned so much from hearing our host’s perspectives and insights into product management and overall startup strategy,” says Kwang.

“PM-Lab was a great way for me to explore a career path I was unfamiliar with before starting my MBA,” says Kaprelian, who landed a summer internship at Ceres Imaging after working on this project. “Seeing how product managers interact with all different parts of a company, from engineering to sales to marketing, got me excited for all the ways that I can drive impact.”

Vivek Farias, the Patrick J. McGovern (1959) Professor at MIT Sloan, says the project is a great example of the value of PM-Lab for students. “Getting a taste of what product management is like in the real world adds tremendous context to what we do in the classroom,” he says.