SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (September 20, 2018) – AgLaunch Initiative, a farm-centric agricultural innovation organization, announced today the Innova $100,000 Row Crop Challenge powered by AgLaunch as part of their expanded partnership with Farm Journal Media to be held at the 2018 Farm Journal AgTech Expo, December 3-5, in Indianapolis. This event is the leading opportunity to connect AgTech startups with row crop farmers.

“The ultimate goal of AgLaunch’s involvement in the Farm Journal AgTech Expo is to demonstrate our farm-centric innovation model to assist new AgTech startups and the farmers we serve,” said Pete Nelson, President & Executive Director of AgLaunch Initiative. “We bring together emerging technology companies that support farming operations with the farmers and investors who share the goal of creating solutions for farmers.”

The Innova $100,000 Row Crop Challenge powered by AgLaunch will be held December 4thon the AgTech Expo Demo Stage and is open to all early stage AgTech startups focused on new and novel solutions to problems in row crop agriculture or to help farmers take advantage of new opportunities. Eligible applicants will vie for up to $100,000 in funding from Innova’s Ag Innovation Fund IV, a $31 million USDA-licensed Rural Business Investment Company backed by 8 Farm Credit Banks, as well as access to the AgLaunch Farmer Network and visibility through the Farm Journal Media family of multi-media platforms.

“At Innova we strive to enable high potential, early-stage startups that serve the agriculture community, to grow into significant economic contributors,” said Dean Didato, partner of Innova. “By providing seed capital and experienced mentorship, we help AgTech startups succeed and deliver the most value to farmers.”

The Challenge will be judged by a panel of farmers and a representative of Innova. Four finalists will be chosen to participate in the Challenge during the Expo. Applications for the competition, judging criteria, and investment eligibility can be found here. Applications are due by October 15th. Selected teams will be announced November 15th.

In addition to the Challenge, AgLaunch will once again coordinate Startup Station, a demonstration area for new robotics and other innovations. This year’s Expo will also feature an Emerging Technologies Aisle, which is focused on companies that have completed farm-scale pilots and are ready to start expanding their footprint with farmers.

To learn more about the Innova Ag Innovation $100,000 Challenge, availability within the Emerging Technologies Aisle, or other ways you can join AgLaunch in Indianapolis on December 3-5, please contact Rebecca Kaufman at


About AgLaunch Initiative 
AgLaunch is revolutionizing the way that innovations in agriculture and food are brought to market by bridging the present and future to grow a more diverse and sustainable farm economy and provide healthy food for all. AgLaunch leverages its distributed network of farm incubators, entrepreneurial farmers, aligned capital partners, research consortia, technical consulting, and best-in-class accelerator programming to effectively challenge the status quo and thoughtfully create value for farmers and the communities they serve. The AgLaunch vision is a transformed regional agriculture and food economy centered around farmers, innovation, and prosperity.

About Innova
Innova is an early-stage venture capital firm that was founded in 2007 by Memphis Bioworks Foundation. The firm focusejs on starting and funding high-growth companies in the Medical, Technology and AgTech fields that match both Innova’s expertise, as well as the region’s industry strengths. Innova has invested in over 100 companies and has been recognized by Crunchbase, Forbes, and SSTI in their rankings of most active investors. Innova provides the synergy of experienced management, market expertise and venture capital to accelerate the development of new products and services into thriving businesses. Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV is a $31 million fund was formed as a licensed USDA Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) with 8 Farm Credit banks participating as Limited Partners.

About Farm Journal Media
Farm Journal Media is the nation’s leading business information and media company serving the agricultural market. Started 141 years ago with the preeminent Farm Journal magazine, the company serves the row crop, livestock, produce and retail sectors through branded websites, eNewsletters and phone apps; business magazines; events; nationally broadcasted television and radio programs; a robust mobile text marketing business; and an array of data-driven paid information products. Farm Journal Media also is the majority shareholder of the online equipment marketplace Machinery Pete LLC. In 2010, the Company established the non-profit, public charity Farm Journal Foundation, which is dedicated to sustaining agriculture’s ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population through education and empowerment.

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