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Meet 13 exciting early- to mid-stage start-ups at the 2021 World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit

The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit is not only an event that connects some of the world’s leading agribusinesses, food brands, growers, entrepreneurs, and investors, but it also provides early- to midstage agri-food companies an opportunity to showcase their technology to the 1,000-plus attendees. 

The 13 start-ups below have been carefully curated and will present during the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit virtual event being held on March 9 and 10, 2021. It’s not too late to participate. Visit the Summit’s website or contact email Jamie Alexander to learn more.

1. Agro.Club

Founded and run by global industry executives from Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, and EuroChem, Agro.Club is a mobile platform that connects growers to their suppliers and crop purchasers in a single network.

From seed to sale, this singular network becomes an efficient marketplace, the source of valuable analytics, and a marketing and networking tool for the entire ag value chain.

“At Agro.Club, we provide an opportunity for the whole ag community to network, share the know-how, and ultimately support each other in the fields,” says the company’s founder and CEO Egor Kirin on the company’s website. 

2. Autonomous Pivot

Autonomous Pivot is turning irrigation pivots into autonomous robots with its innovative and unique system and is enabling farmers to grow more with less. 

The company says its technology can help farmers save millions of gallons of water and the potential to save on fertilizers. While the SaaS fee is $2,000, the founders say a customer’s ROI is $16,000. Currently focused on the Midwest, Autonomous Pivot also operates in Australia and Brazil.

3. BigSIS

With a target of 90% reduction in insecticide use, BigSIS is building a broad portfolio of sustainable insect control solutions that are more effective than chemical insecticides. Its artificial intelligence and robotics platform produces sterile male insects, which have minimal regulatory requirements. The company projects it will replace the $16 billion insecticide market and capture value by improving yield.

BigSIS is starting with insects that have growers desperate for new solutions. It will progressively address dozens of commercially valuable pest targets in agriculture and public health, among others. The first two pest solutions for codling moth and spotted Drosophila were chosen for speed-to-market and competitive advantage. They are already laboratory-proven and approved for sale in England.

Mosquito solutions are a high priority for the company as well. 

4. Bloomfield Robotics

Bloomfield Robotics is using portable cameras and artificial intelligence to automatically and continuously assess the health and performance of specialty crops, one plant at a time. The platform can recommend treatments, predict yield and harvest timing, and identify infestation and pests. 

It is currently working with a number of vineyard and tree fruit customers across North America and will soon add the European Union.

5. Botanical Solution

Botanical Solution is a patented R&D platform based on plant tissue culture that enables the company to discover and develop sustainable, highly consistent, and cost-effective botanical products. The platform eliminates major barriers, such as supply and quality issues, that have prevented traditional botanicals from becoming commercially successful.

One of its products, ABM-01, is based on a plant native to Chile (Quillaja saponaria Molina). It is the active ingredient the company uses to produce the biopesticide Botristop. It will soon enable the production of the vaccine adjuvant QS-21.

6. Crop.Zone

The electrophysical solution developed by Crop.Zone combats weeds and manages pre-harvest desiccation. The process combines chemical and physical plant protection to create an effective way to kill weeds. Because the patented solution provides a competitive alternative for weed management, significant parts of today’s synthetic herbicide use can be replaced. 

7. Gryfn

Founded by eight professors, GRYFN offers research-ready, high-precision, multisensor UAV solutions that simultaneously acquire high-resolution RGB, LiDAR, and Hyperspectral data. The company’s software provides enterprise-ready datasets and analytics of multi-modal, multi-temporal data for plot and plant-scale phenomic insights to drive actionable decisions.

8. Kapsera

Kapsera believes that in order to make the switch to sustainable agriculture, conventional tools such as chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides must be replaced with environmentally-friendly, natural solutions that are safe for consumers. The most promising solutions, the company believes, draw on active principles found naturally in soil and plants.

Before these products can be brought into widespread use, they need to be stabilized and gain in efficacy. Based on the latest advances in microfluidics, Kapsera has developed biodegradable alginate capsules to meet this challenge. Its product pipeline will include seed treatment, as well as soil and foliar application. Capsules are compatible with standard farm equipment and optimized with a tailor-made liquid core for stabilizing active ingredients and improving field performance.

9. MoA Technology

MoA Technology is working to discover the next generation of herbicides from both natural and synthetic sources. Currently, it has developed three proprietary herbicide discovery platforms – MoA GALAXY, MoA TARGET, and MoA SELECT. The company says while each product is powerful on its own, when used in combination they offer the opportunity to revolutionize the herbicide discovery process.

10. Nanomik Biotechnology

Nanomik Biotechnology is developing micro-encapsulated biopesticides, which protects crops against plant pathogens. The result: an increase yield and post-harvest shelf life of fruits and vegetables.

11. Nexus Robotics

Founded by three young entrepreneurs from Nova Scotia, Nexus Robotics has created La Chèvre, a weeding robot that works autonomously, 24/7. Using cameras and a neural network to differentiate between a weed and a crop, the robot accurately removes a weed without damaging the crop. Used in conjunction with a more conventional in-row cultivator, La Chèvre can effectively replace several workers.

12. ScanWorld

ScanWorld wants to deliver Level 2 hyperspectral imagery, twice a week, on a global scale. This will enable a wide range of applications from soil organic carbon estimation to early vegetation disease alerts.

Today, it uses third-party spacecraft complemented with aerial imagery. As of 2024, ScanWorld will start deploying its own constellation.

13. Verdi

Using intelligent swarms of tiny valves, Verdi is customizing nutrition for every plant. The company’s hyper precise irrigation technology is enabling unique water and fertilizer applications on subsections of single crop rows as well as the plant level.

Since its launch in 2020, the company has been working with Canada’s largest wine company to eliminate crop variability, optimize quality, and use up to 60% less water per plant. Verdi is expanding in Canada and the U.S., and it is starting pilots in cannabis and orchards.

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