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Start-Ups Set to Pitch at AgTech Nexus 2018
Agribusinesses, investors, and tech companies will gather next month to learn about innovations and investment opportunities in the ever-changing and exciting ag tech sector. Attendees of AgTech Nexus USA, which will be held in Boston on June 6 and 7, will gain market knowledge, understand the current trends impacting deal flow in ag tech, and learn from intriguing discussions led by industry leaders.
As part of the event, nine entrepreneurs have been chosen to pitch their innovations at Fenway Park. Following are the pitchers of these investible early-stage ag tech companies.
CEO: Aline de Souza Oliveira Pezente
By introducing a differentiate, fair, and dynamic credit risk assessment through machine learning techniques over farming data, directly connecting borrowers and lenders, and insuring and diversifying the main risks of the activity, this digital financing platform will provide affordable loans to financially marginalized farmers. At the same time, this Massachusetts start-up’s technology will increase the risk-return to lenders, which will improve overall access to data so they can make better-informed investment decisions.
CEO: Andrew Diprose
Based in the United Kingdom, RootWave is using electricity to kill weeds as a scalable and sustainable alternative to herbicides. The start-up has an award-winning professional hand weeder, which is on track to complete an approximately $1.5 million European Union Commission project to develop an automated weeder for cereal and vegetable crops. It is also developing a mass-produced hand-lance with one of the world’s largest garden tool manufacturers.
Work Intelligence System Running Analytics (WISRAN)
Founder & CEO: Arsalan Lodhi
Chosen as one of the ag tech start-ups to watch by Successful Farming in 2018, Work Intelligence System Running Analytics (WISRAN) identifies operating inefficiencies in real-time using artificial intelligence. The California start-up’s initial target is worker productivity and machinery logistics.
Founder: Kevin Eichhorn
After years of testing its patented system on 40-plus feedstocks, DryMAX Solutions of Minnesota entered the market in 2017 with its corn, soybean, and wood chip dryers. Instead of drying with high heat, the FORCEFIELD dryers use radio waves at a certain frequency, which specifically targets water molecules to energize feedstock, to dry the product from the inside out.
To protect the most vital part of the grain, the waves pass through the tough shell and target the highest moisture first – pushing water out 20 times faster. The waves are contained inside the structure, but water is released as vapor through an efficient fan. By analyzing the moisture content, the computer adjusts energy and airflow to maximize efficiency or throughput – whichever is most important.
Founder & CEO: Ben Worley
The AgClarify platform, from Agrisource Data, is a service that uses multiple streams of data from proprietary and third-party sources to conduct predictive analytics through artificial intelligence to make informed recommendations and decisions on the seed-to-shelf spectrum. This Georgia start-up focuses on highly accurate, long-term yield forecasting, which provides users information upstream and downstream for hypervisibility throughout the entire food supply chain as well as insights to improve productivity and efficiency.
Applied Quantum Energies (AQE)
CEO & Cofounder: Shefali Mehta
This Florida start-up has developed a patented and proprietary technology that significantly improves several aspects of plant growth without any heat, chemicals, or genetic modification. Through university partnerships and numerous private collaborations, Applied Quantum Energies (AQE) has observed an increase in overall seed productivity from seed germination (10% increase) to seed vigor (20% increase) to fruit production (up to 50% over nontreated plants). Improvements were observed in over 20 different crop types. The start-up holds a broad patent for plasma technology that uniquely treats seeds without creating ozone. Its horizontal chamber is able to treat a steady volume of small seed crops. Its vertical chamber, which will process high-volume, large seed crops, is under development.
Ag Exchange Group
President: Lyle Ehrmantraut
Canada-based Ag Exchange Group was formed to help growers and buyers more efficiently and profitably manage, market, supply, and purchase grain commodities, which delivers the core functionality of a commodity exchange without the constraints of regulatory compliance for payment clearance. Operating as an independent data service, supporting both growers and buyers, the start-up provides growers with real-time access to buyer bids, buyers with real-time access to available grower inventory, and real-time access to grower asks.
CEO & Cofounder: Jan Schnorr
C2Sense, located in Massachusetts, is a start-up that provides monitoring data and analysis using proprietary gas sensing technology to digitize chemical information about food quality and freshness, toxic gases, and air quality. The start-up’s solution includes highly selective sensors with continuous monitoring, which allows a customer to make real-time decisions that can improve quality, reduce waste, and ensure worker safety.
CEO & Cofounder: Larry Feinberg
Also from Massachusetts, KnipBio is transforming aquaculture by providing tailored nutritional solutions through its proprietary blue tech. KnipBio Meal products are a source of single cell protein comparable to fishmeal. It also includes powerful antioxidants and prebiotic compounds, which promote a healthy gut microbiome and bolsters the immunity of aquatic animals. The technology has been in development since 2013. The start-up recently scaled to commercial demonstration and is working on customer adoption trials worldwide.