In just a few short weeks, startups and scaleups from around the world will head to Australia to showcase their ideas, products and services to more than 1,500 delegates at AgriFutures evokeAG.2023 on 21-22 February. Known around the world as Asia-Pacific’s premier agrifoodtech event, evokeAG. is a chance to connect and collaborate with the agrifood tech startups and innovators developing new technologies and innovations to address some of the biggest challenges of our time.
There’s a growing awareness around the catastrophic impacts of war, inflation, a global pandemic and climate change on our food system. Startups play a critical role in building solutions to these challenges while also triggering conversations across global agrifood sectors about how to improve the food system for future generations.
“There is an increasing sense of urgency around how we engage in global conversations, mitigate risks to our supply chain and challenge the conventions of what we grow, how we grow it and what we eat,” AgriFutures Australia, Managing Director, John Harvey recently said.
AgriFutures Australia will showcase 40 startups in its Startup Program at evokeAG. 2023. All 40 startups will have a place in Startup Alley. Seven will appear in the Startup Showcase portion of the event, while another five will get the chance to pitch their company at the annual Investor Pitch Dinner.
These startups also address a wide range of needs across the agrifoodtech value chain and fall into several categories. We take a closer look at the startups and their respective categories.
Cleaner protein and ingredients
Innovative Food is a major area of agrifoodtech thanks to the scores of alternative protein companies developing new products.
In 2021, startups in the Innovative Food category raised $4.8 billion in VC investments, according to data from AgFunder. The only sector that raised more was eGrocery. [Disclosure: AFN’s parent company is AgFunder.]
Companies that fall under the category do not just include the plant-based meat sector but also those with precision-fermentation and cultivated meat technology. And the definition goes far beyond meat and dairy analogues. In the case of evokeAG. startups, novel ingredients are also part of the conversation.
evokeAG. Startup Alley companies involved in this sector include: Whole, Eighth Day Foods, The Leaf Protein Co
More and better data
As the old saying goes, if you can measure it, you can manage it.
Globally, the agriculture sector is aligning itself with this idea as new software and hardware captures better data. The Farm Management Software and Sensing category typically consists of ag data capturing devices, decision support software, big data analytics.
Data analytics, too, have improved over the years — though debate remains as to how helpful current tools are when it comes to actually helping farmers make decisions. Because of that, there is plenty of room for growth, improvement and evolution of tools in the years to come.
evokeAG Startup Alley companies that fall under this category include: Agronomeye, Athena IR-Tech, Bee Innovative, BirdSol Pty Ltd (Cherrp), BioScout, CropX, Deep Planet, Demand Side Instruments, Downforce Technologies, FarmLab, Leaf Agriculture, Onside, Pairtree Intelligence, SWAN Systems
Along with more software and data tools, many farms are also embracing new types of machinery, from drones to autonomous vehicles for the field. Labor shortages are a major driver of this category.
Like software, the Farm Robotics, Mechanisation and Equipment is still a small category when it comes to adoption, though many across the global agrifoodtech space acknowledge the need for smarter, more autonomous equipment.
evokeAG. Startup Alley companies with Mechanisation and Equipment solutions include: Naio Technologies, Agbot, Beewise, Optiweigh, Ripe Robotics, Rubens Technologies, VetChip, Zetifi
Sustainable alternatives for crop and animal health
As concerns rise around food security and sustainability, so too does the demand for cleaner crop inputs and animal health products.
Enter Ag Biotech, which includes companies developing biological inputs for crops, animal health solutions, and those working with seed and animal genetics, among other areas.
Ag Biotech solutions have the potential to increase crop productivity and improve animal health, both of which are crucial to global food security.
evokeAG. Startup Alley companies involved in this sector include: Rainstick, Nanobubble Agritech
More ways to farm beyond the field
Some novel farming systems have existed long enough now that they’re past the “hype” stage and undergoing a period of correction, adjustment and further evolution. We see this happening in vertical farming especially, where companies no longer need to be both the grower and tech provider.
Now, a whole crop of new enabling technologies are coming to market. Instead of growing the greens themselves, these companies produce technologies that make it more efficient for growers.
Novel Farming Systems aren’t just about leafy greens, though. Aquaculture systems along with insect and algae production are also up-and-coming sub-sectors.
EvokeAG. Startup Alley companies involved in this sector include: Gaia Project Australia, InvertiGro, LLEAF
More opportunities for smallholder farmers
The Agribusiness Marketplaces category includes commodities trading platforms, online input procurement, and equipment leasing.
In APAC, it’s a small category with enormous potential. Recent AgFunder data shows that these online platforms are poised to have a huge positive impact on the region’s smallholder farmers. Africa, too, is an important area for agribusiness marketplaces.
evokeAG. Startup Alley companies that fall into this category include: Hillridge Technologies
More efficient food traceability, safety and logistics
In the “messy middle” of the agrifood value chain sits Midstream Technologies. These address the points between farm/lab and the consumer.
Typically, the category includes logistics and transport, food processing, cold chain storage, food waste mitigation and quality control, to name a few.
evokeAG. Startup Alley companies offering midstream technologies include: Bondi Labs, Geora, GoMicro, LYRO Robotics, PPB Technology, PostHarvest, Truck Tracker, UBI Meat, Zondii
Visit evokeag.com/startup to find out more about the evokeAG. 2023 Startup Program and the startups involved.
evokeAG. 2023 will take place in Adelaide, South Australia on 21-22 February 2023 and tickets are on track to sell out. If you are planning on attending you can purchase tickets at evokeag.com. International tickets are available at a discounted rate. View the full two-day program, including all speakers and partners involved in evokeAG. 2023.
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