SUCCESSES FROM LAST MONTH'S AG INNOVATION SHOWCASE
Oct. 9, 2013
With a track record of success including $96M in post-showcase financings and 2 acquisitions, the 2013 Ag Innovation Showcase lived up its reputation, featuring 19 promising ventures with solutions to issues of safety, security, availability and sustainability in food and energy.
Diverse and interconnected enterprises were grouped in 4 thematic areas: Precision Agriculture, Farming Innovations, Biological Solutions and Renewables.
This leaves us contemplating who the next big success of 2013 will be.
Enterra, targeting the elimination of food waste in processing it as both a natural fertilizer and a high-quality feed, using the services of an intermediary called the Black Soldier Fly. Referred to as "Renewable Food."
Dacom, the Dutch company that brings sensor, Internet and scientific concepts to the palm of your hand via smartphone, to help reduce the usage of a limited resource, water?
CropLogic, marrying crop science with information technology in operating a continuous decision support system for crop growers, enabling forecasting and predictive strategy, via the cloud?
Any number of other extremely promising start-ups who featured technologies at the Showcase? Take a look at all of them, along with their presentations, here.
Below you'll find a listing of select success stories from the first 4 years of the Ag Innovation Showcase which itself showcases the consistent quality emerging from the Showcase.
Select Historical Success Stories
Divergence Acquired by Monsanto
Founded at Washington University's Genome Sequencing Center in St. Louis in 1999, Divergence is a biotechnology company focused on reducing the impact of parasitic nematode worms that cause billions of dollars in crop losses annually.
12 years after forming, but less than 2 after presenting at the Ag Innovation Showcase, Divergence was acquired by Monsanto, in 2011 officially becoming part of the Monsanto Chemical Group. Monsanto was both an attendee and sponsor of the 2011 Ag Innovation Showcase.
Derek stayed on with the company and is now Monsanto's Mergers & Acquisitions and New Growth Platforms Lead.
Solum Completes $17MM Series B
Solum was founded in 2009 by a team of Stanford graduates to provide faster, better, and higher density soil nutrient information. Solum's first technology was a real-time nitrate measurement tool, allowing field testing with laboratory quality results.
Solum first received research funding from the National Science Foundation and participated in Larta's Commercialization Assistance Program in 2010 before being selected to present at the Ag Innovation Showcase in 2011.
The following June, Solum closed a $17 million Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz to allow them to respond to the increasing demands of the market. They were also listed as the # 2 Top Ag Technology Story for 2012 as First Half by PrecisionAg Network.
Pasteuria Bioscience Acquired by Syngenta
Founded in 2003 at the University of Florida's Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator, Pasteuria Bioscience develops biological pesticides for controlling nematodes in crops.
After closing Series A and Series B funding rounds between 2004 and 2007, Pasteuria was selected to present at the Ag Innovation Showcase and launched their first commercial product to control nematode damage in 2010.
Immediately following the Showcase, Pasteuria negotiated a joint development agreement with Showcase attendee, Syngenta, leading to the eventual acquisition by Syngenta in September 2012 for $86 million, with additional deferred payments of up to $27 million.
Kelly will be serving as a panelist on the "Biosolutions in Agriculture" panel at the 2013 Ag Innovation Showcase.
Performance Plants Licenses Tech to Bayer CropScience
Founded in 1995 at Queen's University, based on ground-breaking plant research of in-house gene discovery program, Performance Plants evolved from a research organization into a leading agricultural trait developer.
In 2012, Performance Plants was selected to present their Heat & Drought Tolerance Technology at the Ag Innovation Showcase and their Heat & Drought Tolerance Technology was highlighted in the 2012 Larta Institute Annual Report.
On August 26, 2013, Performance Plants announced a licensing agreement with 2012 Ag Innovation Showcase attendee and sponsor Bayer CropScience for their Heat & Drought Tolerance Technology for Wheat Improvement; this is the 3rd commercial technology licensing agreement established between Bayer CropScience and Performance Plants in the last few years.