The world of AgTech has been on fire, seeing $401 million in deals in the first half of this year compared to $277 million in deals for all of last year. In response to this demand the two biggest players in the ag conference space, Global AgInvesting (GAI) and the Larta Institute (Ag Innovation Showcase) have partnered to launch the GAI AgTech Week conference to be held in San Francisco in June 2015.
The organizers report that GAI AgTech Week will run for two and a half days and will include “engaging keynotes presentations by industry leaders, thought-provoking panels, innovative company presentations and interactive workshops, all designed to educate and inspire investors and entrepreneurs with a broad range of investment opportunities in the food and agriculture technology sectors worldwide.”
The partnership between GAI and Larta draws on their combined experience of organizing over 30 international events focused on the food and agriculture industry. Since 2009, GAI reports that they’ve hosted over 6,500 sector-focused attendees in New York, Geneva, London, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi. Since 2005, Larta which helps organize the Ag Innovation Showcase (I sit on the advisory committee) has assisted 9,900+ innovators through partnering and investment forums, national-scale commercialization initiatives on behalf of agencies such as USDA, NIH, and NSF, and showcased hundreds of breakthrough start-ups solving global food and agtech and related issues around the world.
“GAI AgTech Week comes at a critical time for the industry and provides a unique opportunity to assess how far agriculture technology has come in terms of being viewed as an emerging asset class,” said Philippe de Lapérouse, co-chair of GAI AgTech Week and managing director at HighQuest Group, a globally recognized agricultural advisory firm and owner of the Global AgInvesting series. “This program will redefine the food and agtech innovation marketplace, address key industry challenges and create the opportunity for increased deal flow.”
Over the past year we’ve seen growing interest in the agriculture and agtech space. This year we converted AgFunder’s blog over to AgFunderNews, and our friends at London-based publisher PEI Alternative Insight also launched their subscription based Agri Investor newsletter.
And while GAI and Larta have been at this for awhile, competition in the conference space is also heating up particularly as agtech has taken a new interest on more IT-based solution and precision agriculture, rather than just bio-tech. Indoor Ag-Con held their second annual Indoor Ag Conference this summer in Las Vegas (I spoke on a panel); London-based reThink launched the World Agri-Tech Investment Summit in London two years ago and held their second annual event in London back in September. They will be hosting a two day conference in San Francisco on March 3-4; The Silicon Valley AgTech conference, organized by Royce Law, held a one day event and pitch competition back in May (we were one of the judges); GAI added a new agtech day for their New York conference back in May, scoring Climate Corp’s CEO Dave Freidberg as the keynote (I also chaired a panel);Agri Investor Forum (Not to be confused with the Canada’s Agri-Investment Forum, organized by Critical Path Group) will be featuring a two day event in Chicago on November 6-7 and will include panels on agtech (I will be chairing), and a more food-tech focused upstart, Bon Appetech will be holding a conference on April 10-12 (I’ll be speaking there too).
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