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Bringing together key entrepreneurs, investors, early adopter customers, and ag industry leaders, with a single idea: information. The Innovation Showcase puts the leading thinkers in food system innovation in front of this audience, all sharing their technologies, opportunities and growth challenges.
Companies that will be speaking during the Innovation Showcase
AcreTrader is an investing platform that makes it easy for people to buy shares of farmland and earn passive income. Farmland is one of America’s largest and most attractive asset classes, with historical combined annual returns approaching 12% and lower volatility that most other real estate sectors, but it has remained out of reach for most investors until now. AcreTrader removes traditional barriers to ownership, allowing investors to get started with as little as $1,000, while taking care of all the complexities of farm management and administration.
AgLaunch envisions a transformed regional agriculture and food economy centered around farmers, innovation, and equity. AgLaunch attracts, creates, and grows agtech startups, facilitates the development of new agriculture and food value-chains, and builds collaborative farmer networks, with a commitment to intentional inclusion. We focus on attracting, starting, growing, and supporting new agriculture companies and initiatives to revitalize our rural and urban communities and create new pathways for diversity. Now is the time to support business development, mentor diverse young talent, and find new approaches to farming.
Agrela Ecosystems is leading the development of a sustainable technology called the PheNode: a modular, customizable, solar powered, cloud-connected environmental sensing and crop monitoring station. Product inflexibility and high costs continue to dominate the market of sensor tech for plant research applications. Agrela aims to lower the barrier to entry for advanced crop improvement technologies while offering unparalleled flexibility and custom solutions for researchers in a scalable and transformative way. The PheNode allows for effective remote tracking of crop performance, guiding data-driven decisions for breeders and accelerating efforts to improve high-value field and greenhouse-grown food crops.
Agribody Technologies, Inc. is an agricultural biotech licensing and co-development company that applies a proven solution to food-sourcing problems due to ever-growing population, extreme weather and decreasing farmland availability by significantly increasing crop yields. Our patented genetic modification or genome editing technology also delays onset of plant senescence, while increasing tolerance to diseases and sublethal stresses such as drought, heat, cold, salt, low nutrients and crowding in many key crop plants.
Agricenter International, the education, agribusiness, research and agricultural hub of the Mid-South, has a $524 million annual economic impact on the region, hosts over 1.3 million visitors annually, and educates over 10,000 students annually. Agricenter provides a forum for unbiased research of the most advanced technologies and the 1,000-acre campus includes a new 40-acre research park ideal for agribusinesses.
AgriDigital is Australia’s leading AgTech and FinTech scale-up, our vision is to make agricultural commodity supply chains simple, easy and secure from farmer to consumer. We solve three key issues:
- Without digitized supply chains farmers, traders and elevators cannot sustainably compete.
- Complex and inefficient supply chains leave participants disconnected from their trade flows, their data and each other.
- Without secure assets, participants cannot access flexible just-in-time finance.
To solve these challenges the AgriDigital platform has been developed. It is a cloud-based, blockchain enabled solution that enables seamless end to end commodity management for all participants in the agri-supply chain. Real-time transactions and the ability to perform these on a blockchain give our 3,220+ active users live information about the location and status of their asset as it moves through the supply chain and provides consumers with full-scale traceability.
Amfora is a biotechnology start-up that is utilizing gene editing to sustainably nourish the planet by meeting the rapidly growing global demand for protein while reducing the burden on the environmant. Amfora is applying its platform technology to increase the protein density of feed and food crops that are vital to global food security. Increasing the protein density of feed crops improves the efficiency and sustainability of producing livestock and farmed seafood, while increasing the protein density of food crops addresses the growing consumer demand for plant-based protein.
Autonomous Pivot is a startup company of seasoned entrepreneurs, developing an AI robotic platform for agriculture.
Autonomous Pivot’s goal is to enable growers to maximize yield and reduce costs by turning center-pivots irrigation systems into a robotics platform for autonomous irrigation, fertigation, and crop protection.
Autonomous Pivot’s platform utilizes the world’s first on-pivot GPR for continuous noninvasive sensing of soil water content, together with proprietary deep learning and AI agronomist technologies, to enable fully automatic operation. From autonomous symptoms detection to autonomous curing actions.
The Platform is operating in selected farms in Kansas and will be available for commercial farming in 2020.
Advancements in aerial and terrain robotics, high-throughput imaging, data analytics and machine learning are rapidly pushing precision agriculture towards the next evolutionary stage – fully autonomous agriculture. Yet long range and real-time situational awareness is still required for terrain-based farming robotic vehicles to operate without human assistance. An innovative mobile smart docking platform has been developed that solves the critical range limitations and operating complexity associated with drone operation and provides an edge computing, communications and artificial intelligence platform that will enable real-time actionable insights and substantial efficiency improvement for a wide variety of agricultural applications.
Base Pair Biotechnologies
Traces of powerful broadleaf herbicides such as dicamba, 2,4-D or glyphosate can severely damage sensitive crops. Base Pair’s patented DNA technology will allow rapid, field testing of sprayer equipment to ensure effective clean out. Our mobile app will document results.
Bonumose developed patented enzymatic technology for producing healthy sugars that match the taste and food-functionality of regular sugar (sucrose). Using Bonumose’s breakthrough enzymatic technology platform, multiple good-for-you sugars can be produced for low cost. An example is tagatose, which is a naturally-occurring “rare sugar” which does not raise blood sugar levels, is low-calorie, is good for teeth, and has dietary fiber-like properties for good gut health. Tagatose will be sold into the $100 Billion global sweeteners market and has positive implications for health care (e.g., the $850 billion/year global cost of treating diabetes). Bonumose has several critical partnerships with global food/ag companies for manufacturing and distribution.
Cabriejo Ranch, a Savory Global Influencer Hub, is the supplier of proteins to, and an owner of, REP Provisions. REP is a lifestyle brand focused on providing solutions for active healthy people with a passion for superior nutrition, taste, convenience and sourcing. Make every REP count!
Ceres Wave (CW) has developed, patented and operationalized technologies that can help address the global agriculture issue of sustainably feeding the world’s growing population. Our seed treatment technology can increase overall crop yield without using chemicals, heat, radiation or genetic modification. This disruptive technology provides a significant tool for seed producers, growers, co-operatives, governments and non-profits engaged in increasing sustainable agriculture production. We have built our proprietary equipment and are testing while implementing with a rice exporter, an agricultural university and a large vegetable producer and distributor. This disruptive technology is ready for the market!
Get the soil health benefits of a cover crops while producing extra income. That is what CoverCress promises to do for midwest corn and soy producers. Built from the native plant pennycress, CoverCress is a mid May harvested oilseed crop, with low carbon intensity oil and meal quality similar to canola. The oil will be an ideal feedstock for renewable diesel and jet producers, and later food companies. The meal fits for midwest livestock producers.
Crop Enhancement has developed sprayable plant bio-protectant technology based on polymer & surface science that modifies crop surfaces resulting in a highly effective, sustainable approach to protecting crops from insects and disease through physical modes of action. Field trials on the company’s first registered product, CropCoat, have demonstrated its ability to increase Cocoa yields by as much as 50%, netting growers an additional $600/ha in value per season. Initial targets include fruits & vegetables.
CropMetrics is an irrigation analytics company, helping a producer and a producer’s partners, once and for all, make the connection between the least understood input – water – and the efficiency and profitable use of all other inputs. As a grower-founded company, CropMetrics has a long track record of helping growers irrigate confidently, profitably and sustainably. The difference is an integrated CropMetrics solution deriving not from “hardware” but from top-tier agronomic and data science, data from in-field sensors, and local agronomic support. This integrated CropMetrics solution helps realize the promise of precision irrigation: increased input efficiency, improved yields and maximized profitability.
EIO Diagnostics is developing a new tool for early detection of mastitis in dairy cows. By combining advanced sensor & machine learning, they are able to detect infection signs days before there are physical indications in the udder or milk without touching the cow or interrupting workflow.
Family Farms Group
Family farms today need, more than ever, to enhance profit, reduce risk, and build value to be able to grow, compete, and drive success now and for future generations. Family Farms Group keeps families on the farm by helping members build the most profitable and sustainable operation possible, positioning them for multi-generational success.
FluroSat is a crop health solutions provider that uses the power of scientific modelling, AI and remotely sensed data to deliver early, accurate and actionable information on farm performance and plant nutrition to farmers and agronomists. In 1 year FluroSense analytics has been used in 7 countries.
The biological evolution is in full swing, but how can farmers cut through the noise and find products that deliver an ROI? Holganix Bio 800+ Agriculture harnesses the power of over 800 soil microbes to revolutionize the way the world grows while protecting and improving soil health. Attend Holganix’s 15-minute presentation to dig into the science behind our product and for an overview of our studies demonstrating Holganix’s yield improvements. We will also unveil studies from a new technology under development at Holganix that allows farmers to fight nematodes, without breaking the bank or harming their soils. The presentation features Holganix President of Agriculture, Dave Stark Ph.D.
The Jackfruit Company
The Jackfruit Company (TJC) is the largest single buyer for jackfruit in the world, and the #1 jackfruit brand in the U.S, producing convenient, whole food, plant-based products centered around the meatiest plant on the planet, jackfruit.
The environmental problems of chemical nitrogen fertilizers are immense. At Kula Bio, we have developed a sustainable, biological solution. We super-charge natural nitrogen-fixing microbes with renewable energy in order to deliver reliable, low-cost organic biofertilizers. By rewiring the energy flow from sun to soil, we’re tackling the wholesale replacement of chemical nitrogen fertilizers and eliminating the division between affordable practices, and better stewardship of our land, sea and air. Kula Bio’s innovative approach is differentiated in that it is applicable across all crop types, and has the potential to replace 100% of chemical nitrogen.
Provider of cultivation and processing services intended to deliver natural, environmentally-friendly and green products with highest quality.The company’s cultivation and processing services include breeding, crop improvements, and strain selection in which TKS Dandelion is used as important domestic source of natural rubber, enabling clients to avail profitable, renewable, clean and environmentally benign domestic rubber.
Kyle’s Campaigns for Change
Kyle’s Campaigns for Change (KCC) was formed 2016 to promote positive societal change and improvement in the most challenging parts of the world. KCC currently focuses on the 500-3000 children in South Sudan and Sudan who die each year from lack of Type-1 Diabetes (T1D) diagnosis.
Mercaris is a market data service and an on-line trading platform for organic, non-GMO, and other IP commodities. In addition to an overview of the company itself, this pitch will focus on the intersection of financial markets with environmental performance, the ‘true’ function of an exchange, and why price discovery can unlock value upstream and downstream in the supply chain.
Approximately 25% of the world’s food supply is lost annually in the post-harvest supply chain due primarily to spoilage and mycotoxin contamination. NanoGuard’s proven High Voltage Atmospheric Cold Plasma (HVACP) pasteurization technology reduces this massive post-harvest food loss and increases food safety by reducing the microbial activity (>99%) and destroying more than 50% of the mycotoxins. NanoGuard’s process leaves no plasma residues, nor does it alter the foods quality or integrity and is significantly more effective and less expensive than current technologies. By minimizing the post-harvest losses and increasing food safety and global food security through its proprietary pasteurization, NanoGuard helps meet the ever-increasing demand for safe food in the developed and developing worlds. NanoGuard’s novel technology reduces food loss due to spoilage, thereby reducing pressure on natural resources, reducing hunger, enhancing human and animal health as well as improving total economic value within the food and feed supply chain, from the farmer to the consumer. NanoGuard is currently in late stage validation of its technology with multiple prototypes, optimizing for pilot stage scale up. We are involved in multiple market sectors (grains, fresh produce, meats, nuts, spices, water treatment etc.), which are genuine fits for our technology.
Native integrates real-time technology throughout the supply chain to accelerate: traceability, localization, and ROI. Native’s mission is to democratize agricultural data, using an end-to-end software solution, empowering growers to meet the rising demand for local, traceable goods.
A premier & disruptive mobile business for a global market place. Highest product sustainability, quality, traceability and use of block chain. Nexyst 360 can reduce operational & capital costs by 33% to 100% & provide global market access. Reduce the number of produce handles from 40 to 1.
Do you trust the food you buy? Are you confident in its nutritional value? Do you know where it came from and how it was grown or processed? How do you know it’s safe to eat?
P&P Optica (PPO) believes that an opportunity exists for the whole food production chain to significantly improve the way food is grown and processed. PPO will share our vision for how new technology allows us to understand the chemical properties of food, trace it from farm to fork, and connect that data to a myriad of other information to make our food more nutritious, more transparent and safer. And we can make each of us and our planet healthier at the same time.
Plastomics has a new technology platform for making biotech crops. Innovation is needed to feed a growing population and overcome challenges facing agricultural production. These include stacking and breeding of multiple crop protection traits to overcome resistance. Today’s technology is limiting and cannot efficiently address these challenges. Plastomics’ technology overcomes the limitations resulting in better, safer, high-yielding crops.
Armed with an industry disrupting Micromining™ platform and the desire to make a positive impact on society, the Pluton Biosciences team has the passion, drive, and expertise to make new microbial discoveries today. Pluton is based in the great city of Saint Louis, Missouri. The team includes a CEO with over 25 years experience in running entrepreneurial endeavors, three Ph.D. scientists, and two engineers.
Proteon uses precision biology to protect the microbiome in livestock farming. We have developed a platform, using bacteriophages, that improves animal health and performance. Our first products, preventing salmonella in poultry and improving immune function in aquaculture have recently launched.
Its clear that autonomous vehicles will revolutionize farming. What that revolutions looks like and how we get there is still up to debate though. Come listen to Zack James, founder of Rabbit Tractors, discuss the current state of the autonomous agriculture industry, barriers to large scale autonomy in agriculture and what the farm of the future will look like.
Rebound Technologies is supercharging industrial freezers. As frozen food demand skyrockets globally, cold storage and food processing facilities struggle keep up. The bottleneck: refrigeration infrastructure. Rebound’s IcePoint® product integrates into existing, facility freezer systems and deploys bursts of on-demand, high capacity, low temperature cooling and humidity control, ideal for accelerating blast freezing cycles and food production line speeds. The result: an earnings boost of up to $2M annually, per IcePoint® unit. No other technology in the world provides dynamic cooling capacity and, as a cherry on top, IcePoint® accomplishes it at a 35% efficiency improvement over legacy systems.
SafeTraces is partnering with leading food companies, processors, and producers to enable the safest, most transparent, and most sustainable supply chains in the world through a breakthrough DNA-based traceability and sanitation solution. We offer the first natural, edible, odorless, flavorless, FDA G.R.A.S-approved solution that is directly applied to the food, not the packaging, allowing for robust source and safety assurance on-site within minutes. We provide physical, on-product, item-level tracking, which has long been the critical missing link for end-to-end value chain traceability.
At time of cancer diagnosis 90% of all cancer patients experience addressable nutritional issues. Myriad evidence-based studies show that nutritional support and intervention can increase cancer patients’ treatment adherence and persistence, improve their clinical outcome, reduce costly ER visits and hospital admissions, and improve the overall patient experience. As a result, “food as medicine” is gaining medical community support. We will review the literature, discuss strategies for making nutritional support personalized and clinically appropriate, accessible and affordable and learn about Savor Health’s “food as medicine” mission and model.
Sentera has developed a comprehensive software and hardware solution for real-time, integrated, image and sensor data analytics for precision agriculture. While precision agriculture technologies have become more prevalent in farming, Sentera is the only end-to-end, integrated, hardware agnostic platform that captures and analyzes data from multiple sources (public and proprietary) in real time.
SWIIM is the water accounting leader in agriculture. Utilizing a patented process of HW/SW/data science and tracking water through the irrigation system to crop use and lost we’re able to supply farmers with financial statement level water data and the ability to conserve or meet regulatory demands.
Terviva is an 8-year old agtech company that has developed crop genetics and edible products from pongamia, a legume oilseed tree crop that has been long-used in India and Australia due to its ability to produce protein-rich beans in challenging agriculture conditions. Using processing technology, Terviva has established a transparent supply chain of pongamia orchards and is expanding its existing poultry and cattle feeding trials to showcase the ability to provide the US market with low-cost, high quality, organic livestock feed. Additionally, TerViva is drawing upon pongamia protein’s unique functional properties to develop high-value food ingredients, and exploring oleic-rich pongamia oil for the vegetable oil market. Terviva is reinventing how the world can produce plant protein sustainably and affordably, for modern consumers who seek more from their food than ever before.
TradeLanes is a global trade market network that connects all trade participants into a single document chain over the lifecycle of an international trade shipment. This “single source of truth” eliminates document error rates, removes days from the supply chain and saves exporters trade management. More importantly, by using our platform, exporters can get paid up to 30 days faster.
University of Memphis
The University of Memphis is an internationally recognized, urban public research-intensive university preparing students for success in a diverse, innovative, global environment. We provide the highest quality education by focusing on research and service benefiting local and global communities.
The Agriculture and Food Technologies Research Cluster at the University of Memphis brings together a core group of scientists from Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, and Health to work on theoretical, experimental, and applied approaches to contemporary food and agriculture challenges. Areas of research include plants, animals, microbes and their interactions, biodiversity, food safety, analysis of food and water contaminants, nutrition, water resources and management, supply chain, logistics, blockchain, as well as business and law.
Victory Hemp Foods
The plant-based foods revolution is accelerating – growing at 17% YOY. Plant-based analogs for most traditional foods don’t fully meet consumer expectations though, due to drawbacks of soy bean, pea and other ingredients. Hemp seed offer significant, fundamental advantages vs. each of these incumbents – but until now, hasn’t been available in a suitable format.
Victory Hemp Foods solves this problem for formulators of plant-based foods, skin care and other multi-$Billion categories with our unique, IP-driven V-70 Hemp Protein and Victory One Hemp Oil: white or light-colored, neutrally flavored ingredients with highly attractive sensory profiles, formulation properties and nutritional panels.