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Source: Women In Agribusiness Summit news release

NASHVILLE, Tenn., - Two winners - FarmSense and PheroSyn - were chosen from four finalists for the 2023 Radicle Inclusion Challenge Presented by Nutrien, held yesterday here at a pitch competition at the 12th annual Women in Agribusiness Summit. Each winner received a $750,000 investment, including the benefits of valuable collaboration with Radicle Growth and Nutrien senior executives and access to Radicle's company-building platform, which will be used to accelerate their growth.

FarmSense, led by CEO Dr. Leslie Hickle, helps farmers simplify pest management and take the guesswork out of insect monitoring. The company's patented FlightSensor technology provides real-time insect counts and classifications, giving immediate access for farmers to make mission-critical decisions on crop and pest control. PheroSyn, led by CEO Mary Ellis, uses sustainable "green chemistry" to produce complex structured, high value, unavailable insect pheromones, formulated and sold to distributors for monitoring of crop pests in agriculture and horticulture.

The two other finalists were Vitiport and Reazent. While two winners were selected to secure funding, all finalists will benefit from exposure to Radicle Growth and Nutrien senior leadership.

Nearly 200 entrepreneurs from 40 countries applied to participate in this year's Challenge.

"Congratulations to FarmSense and PheroSyn - we are so excited to support these technologies and work together. We want to thank Nutrien for playing a founding role in making this Challenge a success and helping to select the winners," said Kirk Haney, managing partner at Radicle Growth. "This is the 10th Radicle Challenge that we [Radicle Growth] have co-hosted, and it continues to be an impactful platform for driving awareness of critical issues in food production and funding the most impressive technologies that are essential to systems-level change, both for the environment and society."

Since 2019, Radicle Growth has partnered with global ag industry leaders who are spearheading technological innovation and advancement. This year's Radicle Challenge focused on startups owned and/or operated by food and tech entrepreneurs who are women and/or Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in an effort to assist these underrepresented groups - who today receive less than three percent of U.S. venture capital - in their journey towards advancing a sustainable food value chain.

"I'm honored that FarmSense was named winner of the 2023 Radicle Inclusion Challenge," said Dr. Leslie Hickle, co-founder and CEO at FarmSense. "I'm so proud of our diverse and innovative team who made this possible. I believe that our real-time pest monitoring and classification technology will positively impact the entire commercial agriculture supply chain -- all the way to the consumer!"

Mary Ellis, CEO at PheroSyn, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to have won the Radicle Inclusion Challenge presented by Nutrien. It has been an incredible experience to pitch our business to such a talented and highly knowledgeable group of industry experts and we can't wait to continue our journey with these significant partners by our side. The global networks and mentorship that we will now have access to through Radicle and Nutrien will serve to propel the company towards achieving its mission, bringing new more sustainable pest management solutions to the global marketplace."

In partnership with Nutrien, the world's largest provider of crop inputs and services, this competition aims to assist diverse groups in agriculture secure venture capital and access to resources that could help them bring their technologies to market.

Noralee Bradley, Nutrien's EVP of external affairs and chief sustainability & legal officer, said, "It was a pleasure to judge the 2023 Radicle Inclusion Challenge presented by Nutrien. Nutrien's USD$1.5 million investment is going to support two outstanding agtech startups who are not only bringing innovative agricultural solutions to the market but doing it in a way that advances equity, diversity and inclusion in our industry. Thank you to Radicle Growth for partnering with us again to promote inclusive and sustainable agriculture. The pitches made by the finalists embodied the transformative thinking that will help to sustainably feed a growing global population. Congratulations to FarmSense and Pherosyn - I look forward to watching your companies grow."

To stay informed on future Radicle Challenges, look here, and learn more here about the Women in Agribusiness Summit, which will take place in Denver, September 24-26, 2024.

About Women in Agribusiness

The Women in Agribusiness Summit (WIA), hosted by HighQuest Partners, a global agribusiness events and media firm, is where professional women go to stay on top of industry developments and innovations, while engaging in a vibrant community of career-minded women. The Women in Agribusiness initiative took root in 2012, and now includes WIA Membership, year-round MeetUps, the annual WIA Demeter Award of Excellence, student scholarships, the WIA Career Connector and the WIA Today blog. Annual events are held in the U.S. and Europe. Learn more at

About Radicle Growth

Radicle Growth selects innovative, early-stage companies for investment, ensuring that disruptive ag tech & food tech companies reach their full potential. In addition to providing seed-stage capital, Radicle Growth provides a fertile environment for visionaries in the ag and food space to flourish. Their proprietary platform is one of a kind in the ag and food industry, filling a huge void in the market by identifying the most innovative technologies and accelerating them with a range of value-creation initiatives. To connect and learn more about Radicle Growth follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

About Nutrien

Nutrien is the world's largest provider of crop inputs and services, playing a critical role in helping growers increase food production in a sustainable manner. We produce and distribute approximately 27 million tons of potash, nitrogen and phosphate products world-wide. With this capability and our leading agriculture retail network, we are well positioned to supply the needs of our customers. We operate with a long-term view and are committed to working with our stakeholders as we address our economic, environmental, and social priorities. The scale and diversity of our integrated portfolio provides a stable earnings base, multiple avenues for growth and the opportunity to return capital to shareholders. Learn more at

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