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Pitch event features 10 startups at the AgLaunch event during the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show.

Farm Press Staff

February 16, 2024

3 Min Read
AgLaunch
AgLaunch presenters at the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show share ideas for innovation, with a goal of transforming the local and regional agricultural farming economy.Stephanie Sokol

The Memphis, Tenn,-based AgLaunch Initiative has selected 10 agtech startups to participate in its 2024 AgLaunch365 accelerator program aimed at helping bring innovative solutions to farmers and ranchers.

The startups will be featured in a pitch event, which will be held at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show’s Innovation Station on March 1. The Gin Show will be at the Renasant Convention Center in Memphis, Tenn., March 1 and 2.

They were chosen from a diverse pool of applicants spanning eight countries and 18 U.S. states after undergoing a rigorous six-month farmer-focused application and selection process. The latter included growers voting on the impact the technologies could have on their farms and the ag industry.

“This is truly an outstanding cohort thanks to our network of diverse, innovative farmers, who not only help us select the most promising, relevant ag technologies, but they become a vital business partner with the entrepreneur,” said Margaret Oldham, vice president of innovation for the AgLaunch Initiative.

“This farm-centric model is what allows us to scale small businesses and bring new technologies to market with more success while providing our farmers a pathway to ownership in the process.”

On-farm trials

As a key component of AgLaunch365, the selected startups will collaborate directly with AgLaunch farmers to conduct on-farm trials of new technologies. Business development sessions will cover funding options, go-to-market strategy and customer delivery, while offering ongoing coaching and mentorship from AgLaunch and its network of experts.

Starting in January and spanning the next two years, startups will participate in regular coaching sessions and be paired with AgLaunch farmers to begin farm trials.

AgLaunch Farmers LLC, a for-profit subsidiary of AgLaunch Initiative, currently has 50 owner-members in 11 states who earn equity ownership in the startups in exchange for their feedback and contributions of time, labor, equipment and other resources.

The 2024 AgLaunch365 cohort includes:

Earnest Ag develops probiotics that increase crop yields for farmers. Earnest probiotics protect against disease, insects and weeds; promote nutrients; soil health; and drought tolerance.

Gather builds simplified robotic tools for specialty crop farms. Its first easy-to-use and affordable crop transportation robot for table grape farms increases harvest efficiency and farmworker safety.

Gripp Ag revolutionizes farm activity and equipment tracking through a simple, yet powerful QR code + mobile app, making it easy to capture unrecorded events.

Quorum Bio is engineering the next generation of microbial bio-fertilizers using a novel gene-editing platform to enhance nutrient availability and to improve seed vigor and yields with less fertilizer.

Reazent has a patented agri-biological technology platform that provides high-efficacy sustainable alternatives to synthetic agrochemicals, enhancing plant growth and crop protection effects.

RhizeBio provides a low-cost, high tech soil testing approach that decodes the complexity of the soil microbiome to reveal a range of vital characteristics for enhanced plant growth and production.

Share Farm merges advanced technologies to enhance farming, sustainability and profitability by leveraging predictive analytics, image recognition and natural language processing for traceability and equitable market transactions.

SoilMetrix helps growers use artificial intelligence to maximize the fertility of their fields through continuously improved soil management practices.

Upstream Biotechnology has an IP-protected trait delivery platform for the next generation of seed trait development to boost yields and overcome biotic and abiotic stressors when properly regulated.

Wandering Shepherd is the developer of the Wireless Rumen Bolus (WRB), a device used in the stomach to monitor the health and location of more than 200 different species of animals, both domestic and wild.

The AgLaunch365 Accelerator and farm trial experience has contributed to AgLaunch portfolio and alumni companies attracting more than $140 million in private investment and $15 million in non-dilutive funding since 2018.

Some examples of success in 2023 for portfolio companies include Holganix achieving $27 million in sales, Sentinel Fertigation founder Jackson Stansell receiving the Nebraska Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ag Entrepreneurship and Innatrix landing $2.1 million in non-dilutive grants.

For more information about AgLaunch Initiative and its portfolio of startup companies, visit www.aglaunch.com.

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