MEMPHIS, TN- July 15, 2021– Calling entrepreneurs and agtech startups! AgLaunch and Farm Journal are pleased to open applications for the third Row Crop Challenge to select leading startup companies addressing the biggest problems in production agriculture. The Row Crop Challenge will continue to focus on technologies that accelerate the adoption of sustainable production practices like regenerative soil health, water and nutrient management, labor and data management, improved efficiency in production, and traceability.
As many as 10 companies will be selected to participate in a live Row Crop Challenge sprint week held November 15-19, 2021 in Memphis, TN. Afterwards, teams will present their refined pitch to a panel of farmers and aligned investors to earn the opportunity to participate in the full AgLaunch365 Accelerator, a program designed to calibrate the needs of farmers with emerging technology.
Startups that are selected to participate in the AgLaunch365 Accelerator will work with the AgLaunch Farm and Entrepreneurship teams to design and implement field trials with diverse members of the AgLaunch Farmer Network. Qualified startups are eligible for equity investment from AgLaunch investment partners, Innova Ag Innovation Fund and AgVentures Alliance. In addition, teams accepted in the AgLaunch365 Accelerator will have access to media and data support through Farm Journal.
“This year’s challenge builds on the success AgLaunch has had in accelerating growth of startups like Rantizo, Continuum Ag, and Spornado,” Pete Nelson, AgLaunch’s Executive Director said. “With our Farmer Network and ag-experienced team, we are excited to work with a new cohort of entrepreneurs that can address the challenges facing farmers today. Startups we’ve worked with in the past tell us that our farmer-first focus and insight is critical to their success.”
AgLaunch’s unique multi-year model starts with the Row Crop Challenge, AgLaunch365 accelerator, and ends with a three-iteration on-farm trial pathway that takes ideas from proof-of-concept to peer-to-peer scale with targeted investor touch points along the way. AgLaunch365 operates in three phases over a 12-month period, ramping towards on-farm trials across the United States. Phases include:
- Phase I– Row Crop Challenge: Participants receive support services to refine their startup’s value proposition and to prepare to pitch to row crop farmers and agricultural investors through a virtual pitch competition.
- Phase II-AgLaunch365 Accelerator: A panel of innovative farmers and investors choose up to six startups to participate in this phase beginning January 2022. Startups will construct in-depth field trial plans while fine-tuning their business model
- Phase III– On-Farm Trials: The balance of 2022 is dedicated to implementing on-farm trial plans with the AgLaunch Farmer Network. Participating startups typically work directly with the AgLaunch agronomy team and farmers for three iterations of their technology and have exclusive access to farmer input and feedback.
Participants in AgLaunch365 will have access to the following services:
- Customized programming focused on agriculture and lean startup;
- Exclusive access to Farm Journal;
- Field trials and a farmer network made up of leading innovative farmers including cost share opportunity;
- Support from a national network of mentors and service providers;
- Opportunity to showcase their technology at an investor-focused demo day in conjunction with the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show and a producer-focused event at Top Producer Summit.
- Qualified startups are eligible for equity investment from AgLaunch investment partners, Innova Ag Innovation Fund and AgVentures Alliance.
Startup companies can learn more about the Row Crop Challenge and AgLaunch365 Accelerator by registering for an informational webinar on July 27 at 12 p.m. CT or August 12 at 12 p.m. CT.
Applications are being accepted through September 6. Start-up companies who are interested in the AgLaunch365 accelerator can apply here.