MEMPHIS, Tenn. — AgLaunch365 has accepted three new agtech startups into Phase I of its farm-centric innovation platform. AgLaunch365 provides startups with the tools needed to integrate with farmers to create and implement sophisticated field trial protocols and prepare for funding by aligned capital sources. Phase I teams will receive business development support and customer discovery assistance. Teams will have access to accelerator programming, the AgLaunch Farmer Network, the Cultivator Mentor Network, and to AgLaunch’s partnership with Farm Journal Media among a range of other services.
This 6-week program will be delivered through remote programming and in-person sessions held in Memphis. It will culminate at the Farm Journal AgTech Expo in Indianapolis Dec. 11-13, 2017.
Phase I teams are:
- DryMax, based in Minnesota, is commercializing a low-energy, low-heat radio wave process for drying grain that keeps grain integrity and maximizes nutrition delivery. .
- EarthSense, based in Illinois, has developed TerraSentia, a compact, autonomous, easy-to-use robot with multiple sensors and embedded data collection and analytics software for plant phenotyping. They are working with the seed industry and crop R&D partners to test and optimize TerraSentia.
- Rabbit Tractors, based in Indiana, is developing an autonomous, mobile, multi-purposed, swarm-capable and high-ground clearance farm-production tractor for all pre-harvest activities.
“Tennessee and the surrounding Mid-South region is becoming known as a leader for field testing and trialing new technologies and innovations in agriculture,” said, Commissioner Jai Templeton, Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “We are pleased to be able to facilitate that process to grow the overall agtech sector.”
AgLaunch365 teams will receive investment from a key AgLaunch partner, Innova and its USDA-certified Rural Business Investment Company fund, a $31 million fund backed by eight Farm Credit banks.
AgLaunch is a joint initiative of Memphis Bioworks Foundation and Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Innova was founded by Memphis Bioworks Foundation.
AgLaunch365 focuses on helping entrepreneurs find success by providing agriculture expertise, incubator resources, and a strong global ag specific network.
AgLaunch365 consists of three phases of support that closely align with a typical growing season. In Phase I, teams develop their business models and gain access to the Cultivator Mentor Network from October through December. Phase II participants begin in January and refine their product or technology to be “field ready” for on-farm trials with AgLaunch365’s Farmer Network beginning in the spring. Phase III teams work directly with growers in the region to test their innovation in the field during the growing seasons.
Applications to participate in Phase II can be found here. Deadline for Phase II is Nov. 15, 2017.