Ag Innovation Showcase Open for Startup Applications

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The Larta Institute is now accepting applications for the 2016 Ag Innovation Showcase. Applications are due by May 15 and the selected presenters will be announced in early June.

Launched in 2009, the showcase features pitches from up-to 20 new startups each year. In addition to the presentations, the event includes panel discussions and special content sessions.

Since its inception, companies presenting at the event have raised a total of $430 million in seed funding, according to the Larta Institute. Over 80 percent of the presenters reported finding new investor leads while 97 percent left the event with new partnership opportunities.

“For us, the Ag Showcase is first and foremost a labor of love, but also at its heart is its mission to discover, uncover and present promising innovations and innovators in a number of areas, from food traceability to new food sources, from Farm and Field Automation, to CRISPR and microbial consortia, and many others, drawn from around the globe,” says Larta Institute CEO Rohit Shukla. “We are also proud to host meaningful discussions and conversations with a range of players in the industry.”

The 2016 showcase will take place September 12-14, 2016, in St. Louis, MO. The region is quickly becoming a hotbed of agtech innovation, particularly when it comes to biotech.

Last year, over 400 innovators, investors, government officials, university workers, and agricultural companies attended the 2015 Ag Innovation Showcase. Attendees hailed from 32 states and 13 countries. Over 90 startups applied to showcase at the event. We wrote about some of the presenting companies here.

All-natural food ingredient company Fiberstar Bio, plant growth stimulant developer Inocucor Technologies, and animal nutrition company Agrivida participated in the 2014 Ag Innovation Showcase. Each went on to complete venture capital raises. The Larta Institute maintains a list of its former showcase companies and their current raises here.

Several big name agtech investors sponsored the event, including global ag products company Monsanto, Indian agtech tech investor Omnivore Partners, Rabobank, and plant genetics developer DuPont Pioneer.

“As global agriculture faces unprecedented challenges, Ag Showcase participants have helped to identify the issues and nominate the many solutions that are creating change throughout the world. It is heartening to see that our presenting companies have demonstrated success and become our ambassadors,” says Sam Fiorello, COO at Donald Danforth Plant Science Center & President of St. Louis bio-research facility BRDG Park. The center is one of the largest non-profit independent research institutes dedicated to plant science in the world.

Founded in 1993, the Los Angeles-based Larta Institute is an international technology accelerator. Throughout the years, it has cultivated and now maintains a global network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, industry leaders, research institutions, government agencies, and support organizations. Larta also conducts commercialization assistance programs throughout the US and in over 20 countries.

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