AgLaunch Expands Entrepreneurship Team
AgLaunch is excited to announce the expansion of their Entrepreneurship Team. Building off the success of the annual AgLaunch365 Accelerator program, AgLaunch is bringing on an expert group of agricultural innovation and entrepreneurship experts to expand their offerings for entrepreneurs.
AgLaunch is known for a unique, farm-centric approach to innovation. In addition to offering traditional acceleration resources such as business strategy coaching, mentorship, and funding, AgLaunch also works with a network of more than thirty early-adopter farmers who collaborate with entrepreneurs to trial and scale new technologies. Now, in addition to the current accelerator and bootcamp offerings, AgLaunch is expanding its programming to support innovators working in robotics and livestock, as well as diverse founders across the region to support ag entrepreneurship within underserved communities.
“We’re bringing on an all-star team to take our entrepreneurship offerings to the next level,” said AgLaunch Executive Director, Pete Nelson. “Their combined experience is a perfect mix to support our current portfolio companies and build out new programming to connect up-and-coming entrepreneurs with mentorship, capital, and opportunities to trial and scale their innovations with our farmer network.”
Margaret Oldham, a long-time consultant for AgLaunch, will be coming on full-time to lead the team as Director of Entrepreneurship. Margaret has deep roots in agriculture that began on a family dairy farm and has extensive experience bringing agricultural innovations to market in animal health, crop protection and specialty segments.Throughout her career she has successfully consulted with corporations like Elanco Animal Health and FMC, as well as startups like Rantizo and Indigo Ag. Margaret will lead the AgLaunch expansion of entrepreneurial programming into livestock and robotics, in addition to delivery of farmer network education and support efforts to increase founder and farmer diversity in AgLaunch programs.
Working closely with Margaret will be Lilly Tench, who is joining the AgLaunch team as Entrepreneurial Programs Lead. Originally from Berea, Kentucky and a Berea College graduate, Lilly spent four years working for an environmental non-profit in New York City before she joined the startup team of New Lab, an innovation hub built in a transformed ship-building facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She then worked with entrepreneurs through a cleantech accelerator based out of the Columbia University Technology Transfer Office. Lilly has an MBA and MS in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Allan Daisley will round out the team, serving as Entrepreneur in Residence. Allan is an entrepreneur, investor and commercialization specialist with a passion for building new businesses. He is the former Managing Director of Startupbootcamp Digital Health accelerator, where he helped high growth potential start-ups bring impactful technologies to healthcare stakeholders. Prior to that, he was co-founder and CEO of the Memphis-based ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator, a nationally ranked program for the commercialization of medical technologies. He also co-founded 2 software startups and leveraged those experiences as a global economic development consultant driving entrepreneurship-focused projects in developing economies in the Caribbean. Previously, Allan spent time in the corporate world in senior strategy and marketing roles at IBM, and as a technology consultant at global firm Accenture. Allan holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
AgLaunch attracts, creates, and grows agtech startups, facilitates the development of new agriculture and food value-chains, and builds collaborative farmer networks in the Mid-South, with a commitment to intentional inclusion. AgLaunch was formed through a joint initiative between Tennessee Department of Agriculture and Memphis Biowork Foundation. AgLaunch365 is a farmcentric innovation platform for agriculture designed to calibrate support with the specific needs of agtech startups and the agricultural industry. AgLaunch365 is made possible through partnerships with Innova, Start Co., TN Farm Bureau, Farm Credit Mid-America, Farm Journal Media, Archer Malmo, and Baker Donelson.