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Animal AgTech Innovation Summit to host final Manure Innovation Challenge

During a special presummit breakfast pitching session at the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit, eight start-ups from around the world will compete in the Manure Innovation Challenge. Slated for March 16, 2020, the competition is organized by The Yield Lab Institute. The winner will be announced in the afternoon to over 350 livestock producers, animal health providers, feed companies, ingredients manufacturers, and investors.

The panel of judges including Aidan Connolly (Cainthus/AgriTech Capital), Aaron Magenheim (AgTech Insight), Joost Matthijssen (Nutreco), William Goure (Business Model Innovation), and Evan Fraser (Arrell Food Institute), and Paul Duncan (Anuvia Plant Nutrients) will critique the start-ups. 

“Now is an exciting time for ag tech innovators to accelerate the future of sustainable farming and manure management,” says Brandon Day, chief operating officer of The Yield Lab Institute. “We’re delighted to support their route to market with this platform to showcase their solutions and benefit from our mentoring. We’re looking forward to the pitches and supporting the participating start-ups and the winner.” 

Through The Yield Lab Institute’s mentorship and guidance, each company will be given the opportunity to commercialize their innovations. Below are the eight finalists.

BioFiltro. Based in the U.S., this start-up has created a wastewater system that catalyzes the digestive power of worms and microbes to convert waste streams into beneficial revenue streams. It delivers patented wastewater solutions that improve not only companies’ environmental impact, but also their bottom line.

Biomass Controls. Founded in 2015 as part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reinvented Toilet Challenge, this Connecticut start-up is a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation. Biomass Controls has 22 patents that protect the environment and return nutrients to the soil. Its Biogenic Refinery provides thermochemical treatment of high-moisture materials such as manures, excreta, agriculture residues, and food waste.

Chonex. This nutrient recycling company, which is located in the U.S., has developed a biological process to convert 100% of poultry manure into high-value organic fertilizer and animal feed products.

CowPots. Manufactured in Connecticut, CowPots uses the by-product from its dairy farm to create biodegradable, plantable pots. Invented as a sustainable solution to manage cow manure, CowPots offer growers a renewable and recycled alternative to plastic and peat planting containers. Using the same process, CowPots was recently introduced as a sustainable alternative to the packaging industry.

Digested Organics. To help customers reduce wastewater disposal costs, reclaim clean water for reuse, and produce valuable co-products, this U.S.-based start-up manufactures advanced filtration solutions. It specializes in helping farms improve manure management to reduce spreading and hauling costs, minimize nutrient runoff, reuse water, and create new fertilizer products.

N2 Applied. A Norwegian technology development company, N2 Applied has developed a patented technology that enables farmers to produce environmentally friendly fertilizer on-farm, using only manure, air, and renewable energy. The result is a fertilizer produced with lower greenhouse gas emissions and improved resource efficiency at a competitive cost.

Phinite. By recycling animal manure into bulk renewable fertilizer, this U.S. company is building the renewable fertilizer mines of the future.

SoMax BioEnergy (USA) Based in the U.S., SoMax BioEnergy is using organic waste as a resource for sustainable development and resilient waste management in the agriculture, manufacturing, and sanitation industries. The company allows its partners to reduce their carbon footprint while creating savings or additional revenue streams by diverting agricultural, food, septic, green, and other organic wastes from landfills and wastewater treatment plants.

To learn more about the Manure Innovation Challenge, visit

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