Categories
AgTech Incubation

FCMB Agritech EPIC PITCH 2020 edition with ₦1.5M Grant

Nigeria’s First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has partnered with Passion Incubator, a Lagos-based early-stage incubator and accelerator to launch the FCMB Agritech EPIC Pitch 2020 themed “Redefining and repositioning agricultural value chains during and post the COVID-19 era”. Entries are invited up to JULY 24 from agri-tech start-ups with innovative breakthrough technologies.

The program is focused on the following agricultural value chain solutions:

  1. Processing/Production/Storage
  2. Agricultural Finance
  3. Agricultural Marketing
  4. Supply chain

“This initiative is geared towards building and accelerating the growth of the Agritech Startups in Africa and also helps young and self-driven Nigerian entrepreneurs grow their business. This mission would eventually build investible, sustainable and scalable businesses that can contribute to the nation’s employment rate as well as the growth of the nation’s GDP.”

The virtual program will support Agritech businesses in Africa with seed investment, access to workspace, market & network that stimulates innovation, collaboration and business growth. Two Agritech startups will be selected for ₦1.5M Grant (approx. US$4,000), mentoring and fast-introductions to the network.

Entrepreneurs in the Agritech space should apply before the July 24th deadline. For inquiries, reach out to the programs Team on 07061006794 or send a mail to programs@passionincubator.ng

The organisers of FCMB Agritech EPIC Pitch 2020 are:

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited, is one of the leading financial services institutions in Nigeria with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their respective segments. FCMB was licensed in 1982, becoming the first local bank in Nigeria to be established without government support.

Passion Incubator is a technology incubator and accelerator with expertise in innovation program design and tech investments. It’s long-term goal is to be the most prolific supporter of impactful innovation development, startup incubation and seed stage investment.

Categories
AgTech FoodTech Incubation

Tesco Agri T-Jam 2020 open for entries for agri-tech start-ups

The Tesco Agri T-Jam has partnered with World Agri-Tech to offer seed and early-stage agri-tech innovators from around the world, the opportunity to work with the UK’s leading food retailer and its supply chain partners. Entries are invited until JULY 28 from agri-tech start-ups with innovative breakthrough technologies and solutions to improve supply chain efficiency and sustainability.

Following an in-depth selection process by the Agri T-Jam judging committee, ten finalists will be revealed during the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit on September 15. At least one start-up will be selected for fast-track introductions and mentoring by the Tesco agriculture team and its supplier network.

“At Tesco, our ambition is to find new products, ideas and technologies that will help us serve our customers, colleagues and communities even better in the future. We want to work with people who have new ideas to help enhance what we do, or how we do things.”

Natalie Smith, Head of Agriculture at Tesco

Tesco is looking for technologies in the following priority areas:

  1. Predictive Farming
  2. Crop Specific Solutions, Shelf Life & Storage
  3. Improving Soil Health & Resilience
  4. Water Quality Analysis & Irrigation
  5. Robotics, Automation & Sensor Technology
  6. Protecting & Supporting Biodiversity
  7. Livestock: Animal Health & Welfare
  8. Supply Chain Efficiency & Waste Reduction
  9. Indoor & Vertical Farming
  10. Operating Remotely

The 2020 Tesco Agri T-Jam Final will be held as a virtual event on Monday October 19 with the judging commitee, supply chain partners and Tesco colleagues. Each finalist will then present again in a showcase webinar promoted to the World Agri-Tech global network, before the winner is revealed.

Roboscientific, a Cambridge-based start-up which uses sensors, ‘Electronic nose’ to detect contamination in agricultural produce was the winner of Tesco TJam Innovation Award for Agriculture 2019. It uses an array of Volatile Organic Compounds that individually respond to the vapours producing a unique response pattern for each separate type of compound or mix of compounds. The technology was at the point of commercialisation for its automatic early disease detection system for growing broiler poultry and early alerts of spoilage in stored potato and onion crops.

The 2018 winner was ImpactVision, a machine learning company, applying hyper-spectral imaging technology to food supply chains to deliver consistent food quality, generate premium products and reduce supply chain waste. The information generated from its technology allows stakeholders across food supply chains to assess product quality in real-time, making decisions that help to achieve superior product consistency, deliver premium quality and prevent supply chain waste

Categories
AgTech Education

A launchpad for international agricultural startups

Innovations that help feed the world have no boundaries, but in Iowa, they do have a hub where they can prosper. That’s why America’s Cultivation Corridor launched the Cultivo Global Ag Innovation Program™. Now, international startup companies and entrepreneurs can visit, learn, and connect with Iowa’s world-renowned agricultural research, academic, and business communities.

Representing a diverse public-private coalition of stakeholders, America’s Cultivation Corridor is among the nation’s foremost cluster-based economic development organizations. The world’s leading agribusinesses have come together with Iowa State University, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Ames Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of ag and community groups from across the state to establish and guide the organization.

The Cultivo Global Ag Innovation Program is a fantastic opportunity to connect Australian agtech startups with the U.S. Midwest. We are thrilled to participate in this program.”

John Harvey, Managing Director, AgriFutures Australia

The Cultivo Global Ag Innovation Program is a 10-day immersion program that brings agriculture and bioscience startups from around the world to Iowa — America’s Cultivation Corridor. Each 10-day program is tailored to the unique interests of each country, with sessions that feature:

  1. Introduction to the U.S. startup community and entrepreneurial ecosystem
  2. Connection with leading agribusiness executives
  3. Training and mentor support for pitch development
  4. Engagement with Iowa State University, including the ISU Research Park, BioCentury Research Farm, and top industry faculty
  5. Education on the U.S. financial system and regulatory programs
  6. Opportunities to connect with industry-leading farmers and livestock producers
  7. Pathways to introduce their technology in the U.S.
  8. Opportunity to pitch their innovation to funders

The program offers these global entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to engage with Iowa’s agtech startup community, network with ag industry leaders, and collaborate with researchers and farmers. Throughout the experience, participants collaborate with mentors and each other to refine their business pitch, which they present to investors and venture capitalists at the end of the program.

America’s Cultivation Corridor will annually host multiple Cultivo cohorts from around the world. Each cohort will be comprised of approximately 10 startup companies or innovators from a specific country.

Read more about the program at America’s Cultivation Corridor

Categories
AgTech Biotech

Innatrix has been awarded a NSF grant of $225k to address critical crop losses

AgTech startup Innatrix has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research grant of $224,594 to conduct research and development on creating high-affinity protein ligands to address critical crop losses caused by damaging pathogens and pests.

Innatrix is developing technology for the production of high-affinity, high specificity protein ligands to protein targets of interest. It’s area of applied focus are the agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors.

“This award allows us to advance our mission to create environmentally-friendly, sustainable products that will allow farmers to overcome losses caused by pathogens and pests.”

Dr. Jiarui Li, Research Director at Innatrix.

Innatrix has also invented a proprietary apparatus named the EvoStat™. It is an automated platform for protein engineering and provides advanced control, reporting, recording, simulation, and remote access. Infra-red and image processing-based monitoring provides control of temperature, mixing, turbidity, medium supply, culture volumes and flow rates.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering.”

Andrea Belz, Director, Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” NSF is vital to US because it support basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.

The startup is open to collaborations in the agricultural sector in which the production of high affinity protein ligands to targets of interest would be beneficial.

Read more at Innatrix News.

Categories
FoodTech Webinar

Expert Talk: How Foodtech is Disrupting Through Sustainable Meat Alternatives

By 2040, more than 60% of the global meat consumption will be lead by alternative meats. That’s a market value of 1,000 billion USD. Are you ready to lead the change within the industry? Come join a special panel on Wed, 08.07.2020, 6PM CEST sponsored by Stryber, an independent corporate venture builder based in Munich, London, Zurich, and Kiev. The webinar will primarily focus on

  1. Industry outlook from successful founders, investors and industry experts
  2. About building a million-USD funded startups and the first lab-grown hamburger
  3. Future market and investment trends

Who is the webinar for?

  1. For corporations & innovators: Do you work in a corporate group or are you involved in innovation in the F&B sector? Gain insights into the meat replacement industry and hear how to innovate successfully.
  2. For founders & entrepreneurs: You already started a meat alternative startup or have an idea? Learn from our experts on how they have mastered the problems you are also struggling with.
  3. For the curious & inquisitive: Are you curious about meat alternatives and the most disruptive innovations? Get insights from real industry insiders: how they think, act and became successful.

You can register for the webinar by submitting your information on the link below.

The panel and discussion will address questions including:

  1. What are the most disrupting trends in the meat industry?
  2. How will the future of meat look like?
  3. Are consumers ready for lab-made meat?

The Speakers:

Ross Mackay, CEO & Co-Founder, Daring Foods: Ross is a Scottish serial entrepreneur now living in the US. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of daring, a plant-based chicken startup that just closed a second round of investment after their first round of $10m USD. Ross is reimagining chicken with the mission to offer a healthier, tastier and more environmentally cautious alternative to meat that is creating a new vegan food experience which is inclusive for all.

Frea Mehta, Biophysics PhD, LMU: Frea is an experimental biophysics researcher at the LMU Munich. She has firsthand experience in the field of cultured meat research as a Fulbright scholar in the lab of Dr. Mark Post at Maastricht University, where the world’s first lab-grown hamburger was born. She is an active science communicator on the topic of cultured meat and biotechnology solutions in food and agriculture.

Garan Goodman, Associate Partner, Stryber: Garan is a Partner at Stryber aiming to strategically accelerate corporate’s innovation efforts. He previously was the Managing Director of the METRO Target Retail Program for 8 late stage retail startups and Managing Director of the Telefonica startup program Wayra Deutschland GmbH where he oversaw the investment and acceleration activity of 35 companies including the last mile delivery giant Foodora.

David Blake Walker, CEO & Founder, BOONIAN: David is an Interior Architekt, Entrepreneur and all around Creative from the U.S currently residing in Munich. He graduated from Kansas State University with a BFA in Interior Architecture. The day after graduation he packed his drum set in his pick-up and hit the road for New York City where he worked for Richard Meier which subsequently brought him to Munich. Since then he has developed a reputation for his creativity and gastronomy projects.

Categories
AgTech FoodTech Protein

AgTech start-up Nasekomo has raised EUR 4 million for its insect rearing technology

Bulgarian agtech start-up Nasekomo, producing an alternative protein from insect for animal feed, has raised EUR 4 million to deploy its proprietary robotized insect rearing technology. By feeding insects with local agricultural by-products, it contributes to creating an environmentally positive local loop. The VC funds Morningside Hill and New Vision 3 backed by the Fund of Funds in Bulgaria participated in the round.

Nasekomo is the first insect rearing company in South-East Europe, with their first industrial-scale production facility in Bulgaria. It benefits from the advantageous labor and business conditions, abundance of input materials all year round, as well as the proximity to some of the target markets – Greece, Turkey, Western Europe.

“We have spent the last 3 years developing unique solutions for the insect rearing market. Nasekomo has leveraged robotics, A.I. and big data which allow us to produce insect protein efficiently. We will not only be competitively producing large volumes, but also addressing the challenges of our world related to animal feed.”

Marc Bolard, Executive Managing Director, Nasekomo

Nasekomo is positioning itself as a premium player in the insect industry with premium sustainable insect products for the feed and agriculture industries:

  1. Food for Fish: Highly digestible and functional insect protein suitable for both marine and in-land species.
  2. Food for Pets: Insect protein for hypoallergenic cats and dogs. Insect feed for birds, reptiles and ornamental fish.
  3. Food for the Land: Nutritious and sustainable organic fertilizer, rich in essential minerals. Green replacement of chemical fertilizers.

Nasekomo’s in-house developed fully automated technology allows for scalable and cost-efficient production of insect products. The R&D department works independently or in collaboration with leading academic institutions and business partners to develop processes and technologies that will propell forward the insect industry as well as Nasekomo.

“Insects are part of the natural diet for many animal species. They now represent an opportunity to become a sustainable solution to supply the proteins that the world is increasingly consuming. Instead of increasing wild fish catch in oceans and deforesting to plant soy, we can feed insects with local agricultural by-products with extremely limited water consumption, and produce high-quality sustainable proteins for fish, poultry, pigs and pets.”

Olga Marcenac, Chief Operating Officer at Nasekomo

Despite being incorporated only 3 years ago, Nasekomo is already scaling up its operating insect rearing facilities. The scale-up will enable Nasekomo to implement circular economy on a large scale. The company upscales organic waste streams from the agro-industry into animal feed by harnessing the power of the black soldier fly larvae.

“We are thrilled to support an experienced team of entrepreneurs with several highly successful enterprises under their belt. In their newest venture, Xavier, Olga and Marc will change the paradigm of protein production by transforming residual biomass into feed. In addition to its sustainable development impact, the business provides a great investment opportunity.”

Pavel Velkov, Managing Partner at Morningside Hill Ventures

The investment will allow Nasekomo to grow its presence on the market and increase its productivity via deploying robotics and data analytics. The company will also launch a new selective breeding program in order to provide the planet with continuously improving efficiency in transforming waste into insect-based products.

Read more at Nasekomo

Categories
Aeroponics Hydroponics

Aponix vertical barrel: “a solution to set up 3-dimensional cultivation space”

The aponix vertical barrel system is an alternative vertical NFT solution from Germany to enable local or hyperlocal edible plant production in 3D. Aponix provides robust horticulture building blocks instead of rack systems that make it possible to set up grow spaces efficiently within a 3-dimensional cultivation space and at the same time be able to use natural sunlight better.

The aim is to enable edible plant production in smaller farming plots or community spaces and allow for more decentralised urban micro farming.

Aponix’ mission is to facilitate the setup of high density grow spaces for soil-less cultivation by taking the existing 2D NFT concept to the 3rd dimension in a very flexible, simple and also robust way. It is especially designed for urban farming facilities operating on limited space.

The aponix vertical barrels are suitable to grow herbs and lettuces in vertical gardening/farming situations. Plants get their nutrients from vertical drip irrigation generated by one inverted sprinkler or our water buffer top inside each vertical cylinder (‘barrel’), converting it into a giant vertical 3D-NFT! There is also a soil-based version and other options for indoor farming.

The whole concept is based on lego-like ring segment pieces that serve either as spacers or provide differently organized inserts for standard 2-inch netpots. Assembling multiple of these ring segment pieces will result in stackable ring segments or barrel levels to assemble one or multiple such vertical cylinders or ‘barrels’. With more ring segments stacked, the height and the number of grow spaces are increased.

As of 2020, aponix changed their market strategy from looking for distributors to working more extensively with product partners who bring in own engineering and create more specific and distinguishable products from their barrel components.

Product partners are required to create their own unique solutions, based on aponix pieces adding other external even competitive pieces and/or service and market them independently under their own brand and own product name. As result of this co-operative type of relation some new interesting components have been designed, that in turn can be used by other existing product partners too.

For more information on the aponix vertical barrel please visit http://www.aponix.eu or contact Mr. Marco Tidona at hello@aponix.eu.

Categories
Food Security Research

Entries for the 2021 Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security are now open

Olam International, in partnership with Agropolis Fondation, is targeting ground-breaking scientific research that can deliver transformational impacts within global agriculture. Entries for the 2021 Prize are now open and the winner will receive an unrestricted US$75,000 grant for the scaling up of proven research.

Applications are welcomed from academic or research institutions, civil societies and the private sector, and can focus on any region, environment, crop or part of the agricultural supply chain. Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security requires clear evidence of potential short-term impact on food availability, affordability, adequacy, and accessibility.

“At a time when the world faces a potential rise in food insecurity from the coronavirus crisis, with vulnerable parts of the developing world, particularly in Africa, most at risk, the new scientific insights and techniques being developed by research teams around the world are more significant than ever. The Olam Prize aims to support breakthrough innovations so that together we can re-imagine agriculture for greater food security.”

Sunny Verghese, Co-Founder and Group CEO at Olam 

The 2019 Prize was awarded to a pioneering landscape mapping that’s re-imagining subsistence farming in Ethiopia, co-ordinated by Dr Tomaso Ceccarelli of Wageningen Environmental Research and Dr Elias Eyasu Fantahun of Addis Ababa University. Innovation Mapping for Food Security (IM4FS)ii, is supporting Ethiopia’s REALISE programme to give smallholder farmers a ‘best fit’ for what to grow, where and how, with the goal of improving productivity in food insecure areas.

The 2017 Prize went to Durum wheat breeder Dr Filippo Bassi of ICARDA for his development of a strain of heat-tolerant wheat, able to withstand the 40°C temperatures of sub-Saharan Africa. Since receipt of the Prize funding, the new varieties have been well established in Senegal and Mauritania and successfully cultivated for the first time in Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and the Republic of the Gambia.

The deadline for application submissions is 23:59 CET (France) 11th January 2021. Applications received before 30 November 2020 will be considered for publicity opportunities on Olam’s corporate channels.

Applications for the program can be filled up at Olam Food Prize.

Categories
AgTech Biotech

TerMir selected as the winner of AgTech Innovation Competition

TerMir Inc., a North Carolina–based agtech company, focusing on solutions for citrus greening and natural weed control, has been selected as recipient of funding and membership of AgTech Innovation Competition hosted by Alexandria LaunchLabs. Alexandria’s national competition, was successful in attracting approximately 70 emerging agtech applicant companies in areas like crop protection, digital platforms, robotics, next-generation fabrics and animal vaccines from 20 states across the United States.

In May, TerMir and six other finalists—Agrynex (New York), Ascribe Bioscience (New York), EarthSense (Illinois), GALY (California), Mazen Animal Health (Missouri) and TreeCo (North Carolina)—presented their pitches virtually before an esteemed panel of judges. Alexandria LaunchLabs – AgTech selected TerMir as the $100,000 AgTech Innovation Prize winner based on its proprietary, patent-protected technology with a new mode of action for controlling the bacteria that causes citrus greening disease.

“Strategic efforts like our AgTech Innovation Prize are vital to fostering the next generation of leading agtech companies who hold the promise of developing groundbreaking solutions aimed at ensuring a sustainable, accessible and healthy global food supply.”

Blake Stevens, PhD, Head of Alexandria LaunchLabs®

The TerMir team is excited to be selected as the prize winner and to become an active member of the campus communities of Alexandria LaunchLabs. Founded in 2016, Raleigh-based TerMir is developing:

  1. An innovative, safe, and effective treatment for citrus greening. Ichor™, a patented formulation of TerMir break the bacterial disease cycle and eradicate citrus greening.
  2. A novel biological herbicide portfolio of products, based on a series of plant extracts, to control weeds and enhance crop growth.

Alexandria remains focused on providing mission-critical infrastructure and capital to the essential agtech industry. LaunchLabs provides move-in-ready office and laboratory space, shared equipment and services, creative amenities, and access to capital through its Alexandria Seed Capital Platform. The facility is also home to UPL, Indigo Ag, and Boragen.

Read more at ALEXANDRIA

Categories
AgTech Biotech

AgTech startup Enko Chem raises $45 million to bring sustainable biopesticides to market.

Enko Chem Inc. (Enko) publicly launched after securing $45 million in a Series B round of financing, bringing its total funding raised to date to $66 million. Specialised in small-molecule pest control products, the startup’s tech platform is used to discover new ways to protect crops from pests and diseases.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was driven to invest in the startup because of the potential for its technology to help smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia. The latest round attracted a strong mix of existing (Anterra Capital and Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund) and new investors (Finistere Ventures, Novalis LifeSciences, Germin8 Ventures, TO Ventures Food).

“We’re committed to ensuring that smallholder farming communities in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have access to affordable innovations that can safely and sustainably control crop pests and diseases, which are likely to intensify and spread into new areas due to climate change.”

Dr. Vipula Shukla, Senior Program Officer, Agriculture, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Instead of using traditional high-throughput methods to screen molecules for pesticide activity, it uses DNA-encoded libraries to select candidates from among billions of molecules. The technique, pioneered in the drug industry, is less expensive than older methods and allows researchers to run parallel experiments with different targets.

“You can improve safety and outcomes if you know a lot more about the target in the pest you are trying to inhibit. It gives us options to combat pesticide resistance and allows us to address safety and efficacy at the very start of the process.”

Jacqueline Heard, Founder and CEO Enko Chem Inc.

The startup’s launch comes as the need for pesticide alternatives and crop protection becomes more pressing. The factors behind the increase in biopesticides demand are the restrictions on chemical pesticides, the need for residue-free products, and an increase in environmental awareness.

At a time when more than 600 pest species have developed some form of resistance and threaten yield losses of up to 40 percent, Enko is pioneering a new approach by integrating complementary technologies to develop improved products that meet or exceed the safety and sustainability demands of farmers, consumers and regulators around the globe.

Read more at Enko