MASON CITY, Iowa — Pete Nelson, Executive Director of AgLaunch Initiative recently presented the keynote address to the Ag Ventures Alliance (AgVA) Annual Membership Meeting. The presentation highlighted AgLaunch’s Farm-Centric Innovation Model, a unique approach to building ag tech companies in which farmers incubate new ag tech and value-added companies in exchange for equity in the new enterprises.

AgVA and AgLaunch have recently signed an MOU to co-invest in new early-stage companies, as well as to create new opportunities for farmers to participate in the innovation value-chain.

“Expanding our farmer network beyond the Mid-South Delta region allows AgLaunch to build on its current work and gives startup companies additional opportunities to test and develop their products," said Nelson.

AgLaunch and AgVA are committed to establishing a network of farmers to incubate new technologies that includes pilot trials, farmer feedback and guidance, as well as providing startup capital.

Currently, the two organizations are jointly supporting startup companies like AgriSync, SwineTech, Shepherd, Soil Nerd, and Rantizo through direct investments, farm-scale trials and business support. Additionally, AgLaunch and AgVA also support value-added enterprises related to new crops, new market opportunities, and processing.