We have received 29 applications for our second ever AgPitch18 pitching contest. After lots of difficult deliberation, our judges are proud to present the following five finalists that will pitch their business ideas at the Grow and Fortify conference on December 6 at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Kent Island, MD.
- Johnny Oysterseed - Oyster systems provide major ecological benefits through filtering and denitrification, stabilizing shorelines, and providing habitat for aquatic life. The oyster-harvesting industry in the Chesapeake Bay has been rapidly receding in the recent years due to dredging and disease, as well as low efficiency and the type of farming techniques used. The overall objective of this effort is to develop, test and validate an improved oyster farming system that facilitates efficient deployment/retrieval, easier maintenance to prevent marine fouling of the oyster cages, tumbling of the oysters to shape and promote uniform growth, and quicker transporting and storage of the cages to increase farming efficiency and possibly promote growth.
- MadTech Drones - madtechfarm.com Marnane Agricultural Drone Technologies, dba MADTECH, LLC, has developed the "The MADTECH System" which captures real-time farm data using advanced Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) network management to fly two types of very sophisticated fixed wing drone technologies simultaneously. The data gathered by the drones is coupled with rapid lab testing, targeted ground proofing, and writing optimized prescriptions for farm equipment to enable a farm to be continuously optimized for efficiency in real time. These reports and prescriptions written for farm equipment will allow for lower costs in fuel, seed, fertilizer, and labor. The resulting increased optimization from reports using the data gathered will produce significantly increased yields (up to 30%) over time. One laborer can scout about four acres in an hour, but only capture limited data. MADTECH drones using multi-network integration can cover 200-400 acres in an hour and provide comprehensive data about plant health, grow rate, real-time actionable Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), visual recorded stand counts, visual reporting to one centimeter on the condition of fields and crops, provide data to optimize prescriptions for farm equipment, and show where plant and soil testing needs to be done.
- 1000 EcoFarms - 1000ecofarms.com/en This company aims to help small farmers effectively market and sell their products using the web, social media, blockchain, and other modern technology. At the root of our solution is a modern web-based software platform providing tools that allow small farmers to perform effective customer acquisition and communication, order and payment processing using a variety of payment methods, inventory management, and customer service tasks. The farmers can get started using the platform free of charge by creating a profile for their farm, and adding an unlimited number of products for sale. They would only pay a small commission (between 2.5 and 4.9%) for successful sales. The platform has been operational for less than two years, and has already attracted over a thousand farmers around the world.
- AgriMetis - https://agfundernews.com/agrimetis-raises-23-5m-series-b-for-natural-products-derived-crop-protection-research.html/ It takes $300M for agricultural chemical (ag chem) companies to discover, develop, and deliver one ag chem product, and the number of new products continues to decline. Agrimetis is combining biology and chemistry to lower the cost of a product currently on the market. We have a US Patent issued in December 2017 for Glu-L, which will lower the cost of serving world markets instead of using Glufosinate (BASF - Liberty Link). Our process takes inactive isomers and makes them active, which will have less environmental load and will make the product at a lower cost to the farmer. Current industry trends show that farmers are switching from the Glyphosate (Monsanto/Bayer Round-up) due to field resistance issues and negative press. As a result, there is an uptick in more expensive Glufosinate (BASF - Liberty Link) revenues, and the farmers and public are looking for a better alternative to Glyphosate.
- GreatAlga - Growing algae in outdoor ponds can be inefficient, subject to inhospitable weather and environment, invasive species, and microscopic predators. However, GreatAlga (GA) is staged with its academic and industry partners to solve the challenges in growing algae efficiently for the agricultural market. GreatAlga, LLC is a Maryland-based startup dedicated to growing algae in bioreactors to optimize quality and cost. GA’s three principals have built their professional reputations within the industry through years of experience in growing algae in bioreactors, using photosynthesis to mitigate CO2 and other greenhouse gases. They were approached by an agricultural industry leader who had developed a process to incorporate algae into livestock feed to produce a healthier animal. GreatAlga’s role is to grow healthy algae using our own process quickly and in volume at regional algae feed facilities we help design. Consumers will benefit from meat and dairy products when algae is a part of daily animal ration nutrition. Algae can be used in all consumer protein, dairy, and pet food markets to improve worldwide consumer health by balancing their Omega 6 to 3 ratio through daily protein consumption.
Do one or more of these innovators sound interesting to you? Register for the summit today to secure your spot to see these five ideas be pitched live on December 6!