Ten Groundbreaking AgTech Startups Chosen for 2024 AgLaunch365 Accelerator Program
Farm-Centric Innovation Model Sets Up Cohort for Success
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Jan. 16) Memphis-based AgLaunch Initiative has selected ten game-changing agtech startups to participate in AgLaunch365, a leading accelerator program aimed at tackling contemporary challenges in farm and food production and promoting sustainability.
Chosen from a diverse pool of applicants spanning 8 countries and 18 U.S. states, these startups underwent a rigorous six-month farmer-focused application and selection process. The process included farmers voting on the impact these technologies could have on their farms and the ag industry, leading to a Challenge Week in Memphis, featuring pitches with the AgLaunch farmer selection committee. Ultimately 10 startups were invited to participate and exchange equity for farmer-led business development and farm trial assistance services.
Innovations from this year’s cohort range from integrated marketing platforms and biologics to robotics, genetics and remote livestock monitoring. The 2024 AgLaunch365 cohort includes:
- Earnest Ag – develops probiotics that increase crop yields for farmers. Earnest probiotics protect against disease, insects, and weeds; promote nutrients, soil health, and drought tolerance.
- Gather – builds simplified robotic tools for specialty crop farms. Its first easy-to-use and affordable crop transportation robot for table grape farms increases harvest efficiency and farmworker safety.
- Gripp Ag – revolutionizes farm activity and equipment tracking through a simple, yet powerful QR code + mobile app, making it easy to capture unrecorded events.
- Quorum Bio – is engineering the next generation of microbial bio-fertilizers using a novel gene-editing platform to enhance nutrient availability and to improve seed vigor and yields with less fertilizer.
- Reazent – has a patented agri-biological technology platform that provides high-efficacy sustainable alternatives to synthetic agrochemicals, enhancing plant growth and crop protection effects.
- RhizeBio – provides a low-cost, high tech soil testing approach that decodes the complexity of the soil microbiome to reveal a range of vital characteristics for enhanced plant growth and production.
- Share Farm – merges advanced technologies to enhance farming, sustainability, and profitability by leveraging predictive analytics, image recognition, and natural language processing for traceability and equitable market transactions.
- SoilMetrix – helps growers use artificial intelligence to maximize the fertility of their fields through continuously improved soil management practices.
- Upstream Biotechnology – has an IP protected trait delivery platform for the next generation of seed trait development to boost yields and overcome biotic and abiotic stressors when properly regulated.
- Wandering Shepherd – developer of the Wireless Rumen Bolus (WRB), a device used in the stomach to monitor the health and location of over 200 different species of animals, both domestic and wild.
The startups will be featured in a pitch event at Farm Journal’s Top Producer Summit Feb. 5-7 in Kansas City, as well as the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show Innovation Station March 1 in Memphis.
Ten Groundbreaking AgTech Startups Chosen
Margaret Oldham, Vice President of Innovation, emphasized the pivotal role AgLaunch farmers played in the selection process. “This is truly an outstanding cohort thanks to our network of diverse, innovative farmers, who not only help us select the most promising, relevant ag technologies but they become a vital business partner with the entrepreneur. This farm-centric model is what allows us to scale small businesses and bring new technologies to market with more success while providing our farmers a pathway to ownership in the process.”
As a key component of AgLaunch365, the selected startups will collaborate directly with AgLaunch farmers to conduct on-farm trials of new technologies. Business development sessions will cover funding options, go-to-market strategy, and customer discovery, while offering ongoing coaching and mentorship from AgLaunch and its national network of agricultural and business experts.
Starting in January and spanning the next two years, startup teams will participate in regular coaching sessions and will be paired with AgLaunch farmers to commence farm trials. AgLaunch Farmers, LLC, a for-profit subsidiary of AgLaunch Initiative, currently boasts nearly 50 owner-members from across 11 states who earn equity ownership in the startups in exchange for their collaborative feedback and contribution of time, labor, equipment, and other resources.
The AgLaunch365 Accelerator and farm trial experience has contributed to AgLaunch portfolio and alumni companies attracting more than $140 million in private investment and $15 million in non-dilutive funding since 2018. Some examples of success in 2023 for portfolio companies include Holganix achieving $27 million in sales, Sentinel Fertigation founder Jackson Stansell receiving the Nebraska Governor’s Award for Excellence in Ag Entrepreneurship, and Innatrix landing $2.1 million in non-dilutive grants. For more information about AgLaunch Initiative and its portfolio of startup companies, visit www.aglaunch.com.
AgLaunch is revolutionizing the landscape of agriculture and food innovation, fostering a more diverse and sustainable farm economy while ensuring access to nutritious food for all. Utilizing a network of farm incubators, entrepreneurial farmers, capital partners, research consortia, technical consulting, and premier accelerator programming, AgLaunch challenges the norm and adds value to farmers and local communities. The vision is to transform regional agriculture and food economies, emphasizing farmers, innovation, equitable participation, and prosperity. Recognized as a Regional Innovation Cluster by the US Small Business Administration and a Build-to-Scale awardee from the US Economic Development Administration, AgLaunch receives additional support from state agencies and foundations nationwide.
About Farm Journal Media:
Farm Journal Media is the nation’s leading business information and media company serving the agricultural market. Started 142 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 also is the majority shareholder of the online equipment marketplace, Machinery Pete LLC. In 2010, the company established the nonprofit, public charity Farm Journal Foundation dedicated to sustaining agriculture’s ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population through education and empowerment.