I hail from an agricultural background, and I'm currently a student at IIT, Roorkee. Coming to college, I had a lot of incentives, because of my background, to come up with something that helps the agricultural community. India currently spends 20 billion$ for subsidies in Nitrogenous fertilizers, and witnesses a ratio of 24:1 for Nitrogen:Phosphorous, in soil. However, the ideal ratio is 4:1. Also, if an optimal approach of nitrogen use is preferred, India can save 8 billion$.
I came up with an idea for using hyperspectral imaging, read upon the same, constructed a robust methodology, and conducted an experiment with minimal resources to prove that the methodology works better than the current ones being used. I filed a patent for the same. The results were presented at IEEE TIAR, 2017, the proceedings of which shall soon be published in IEEE xplore.
This entire project was self-funded, with no-one guiding me, essentially. I would go around, interacting with people, whenever I had doubts.
I, and my team, have now been selected amongst the top 3 teams for Ericsson Innovation Challenge. We beat teams for universities like Stanford, Cornell, MIT, etc., and, have now been invited to Nobel Museum, Stockholm, Sweden, for finals.
We are supposed to present an MVP (A minimum Viable Product), there. What I made with funds of my own, was with minimal resources. It is not presentable on a platform as big as Ericsson. We need to 3D print, buy a DSLR, and modify it a bit - which will require funds. Also, the next testing needs to be done in Hyderabad, which requires traveling funds, again.
Also, I have been able to come up with a way of constructing this device in a very nominal cost of ~ Rs. 4000. But, the modules required to construct and prove the theory, will require around 400$.