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Ag Industry Brief: Agtech Startups Win Big at AI Competition, Adapt-N Reachs 1m Nitrogen Recommendations, more

July 17, 2017

Agtech Startups Win Big at CogX AI Innovation Challenge 

Agtech startups won big at the recent CogX Innovation Exchange and Annual Awards in London, an event that brought together more than 350 of the world’s leading Artificial Intelligence experts from industry, academia and government. Precision irrigation management startup Hortau was a finalist in the Best AI Product in Agriculture category along with ag robotics company Abundant Robotics. Ag data startup Prospera won best AI product in agriculture, as well. 

Nitrogen-Focused Ag Data Startup Adapt-N Reaches 1 Million Daily Recommendations  

Agronomic Technology Corp, an agricultural field modeling company for soil, water, crops, and fertilizer, recently surpassed over one million daily nitrogen recommendations and is nearing one billion cumulative platform recommendations, reports the company. Its Adapt-N and N-Insight, products provide nitrogen management solutions in partnership with agricultural retailers, agricultural technology companies, and farmers. 

Australian Super Incubator Accepting Applications for Agtech

Cicada Innovations, an Australian business incubator, is calling for applications to its new agtech program in collaboration with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). The program will select will eight to 10 individuals or teams focused on transforming agricultural practices and food production. The program, named GrowLab, will run from September until November, and involve one day a week of training over the 12 weeks, culminating in a public showcase and investor pitch. Click here for more info on how to apply.  

Indigo Appoints PepsiCo Chief Scientific Officer to Board of Directors 

Indigo Ag, an ag biotech startup, has appointed Dr. Mehmood Khan, vice chairman and chief scientific officer of PepsiCo, to its Board of Directors. Alongside other members, Dr. Khan will help support the company’s mission with his years of experience leading innovative and sustainable agriculture and nutrition initiatives. 

Alexandria Real Estate To Launch New Agtech Center at RTP

Real estate giant Alexandria Real Estate Equities recently acquired a former Syngenta site in Research Triangle Park where it plans to launch a new agtech center. It’s aimed at multiple tenants in the agtech space. Located in North Carolina, Research Triangle Park is one of the largest research parks in the world. Read more here

Rubicon Water Signs JV Agreement with Chinese Province 

Rubicon Water, a water technology and optimization company, has formed a joint venture company with Tsinghua University’s School of Civil Engineering and Gansu Water Investment Co., an organization owned by China’s Gansu provincial government. The joint venture was formalized in Lanzhou City at a ceremony, which also marked the launch of the province’s ‘Internet of Water’ strategy which will see the joint venture assist the government to develop and roll-out smart water technology throughout the province. Read more here. 

Iowa AgriTech Accelerator Names Sixth Startup for 2017 Class, Announces Entrepreneurs in Residence for Program 

The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator has named Farrpro, a farrowing startup that creates a micro-climate for newborn piglets, as the sixth startup for the program’s Class of 2017. In June, The Accelerator named farming time management platform WISRAN, plant-based pest control developer PyurSolutions, semi-autonomous ag equipment developer Rabbit Tractors, controlled environment ag startup Phenomics Labs and Hintech as the first five startups to participate in the program. The Accelerator also unveiled new Entrepreneurs in Residence, who will provide strategic and tactical mentoring to each member of the 2017 class and will spend dedicated in office time mentoring the startups throughout the 100-day incubator period.   

Veridian Credit Union Joins the Ag Startup Engine 

The Ag Startup Engine, located at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that Veridian Credit Union has joined the engine’s effort to bring education, mentoring, and financing resources to Iowa entrepreneurs and startups focused on agriculture technologies. The ASE effort was launched two years ago to help address two fundamental gaps that prevent agricultural startups and entrepreneurs from being more successful in Iowa: early seed stage investment and organized mentorship from successful Iowan and Midwestern entrepreneurs. 

Senator Schumer Calls on FDA to Regulate Snortable Chocolate 

US Senator Charles Schumer is urging FDA regulators to investigate snortable chocolate powder, saying he’s concerned that it could prove harmful and is being marketed like a drug. Read more about this wacky product and its controversial nature here. 

Other News That’s Fit to Chew 

  • The Vatican outlawed gluten-free bread for Holy Communion, reports BBC News
  • Chobani took a risk on experiential marketing to win the yogurt war, reports FoodDIVE
  • Sonoma Creamery, a California cheese and snack company, received a $10 million equity investment from private equity firm Svoboda Capital Fund IV, reports Food Business News



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