AgTech Week almost here
Global Ag Investing (GAI) and Larta Institute, two thought leaders in ag investing and innovation, have partnered to combine their organizations’ ag knowledge and networks for a new West Coast ag conference, AgTech Week, June 22-24. Larta is offering our VOX readers a 15% percent discount to AgTech Week with the promo code: ATW-LRT15.
Highlighting the inaugural GAI AgTech Week will be a keynote address and town hall Q&A by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who will speak to the current strengths, innovations and outlook for the agricultural economy.
“We are thrilled that Secretary Vilsack will be addressing our audience of investors and innovators who are working to change the trajectory of the global food system,” said Event Director Kate Westfall. “We look forward to exploring the role that the USDA can play in funding research, supporting entrepreneurs, creating new revenue sources for producers, and enabling continued innovation in the agricultural sector at home and abroad.”
Two of Larta’s recent and promising ag portfolio companies (from our USDA-funded commercialization program), Asilomar Bio and Whole Trees will be at the conference pitching their companies to investors in the ag industry in the AgTech Innovation Exposition session on the afternoon of June 24th.
- Eric Davidson, CEO of Asilomar Bio, will represent this emerging company from San Francisco. Asilomar Bio creates products that improve crop yield and water efficiency in farming through enhancing water use efficiency, and combating parasitic weeds. The company is a 2015 alum from our ag practice that enhanced drought tolerance in maize using strigolactones.
- Amelia Baxter, CEO of Whole Trees, is representing her company at the AgTech Innovation Exposition session. Whole Trees, a shole lumber engineering companyfrom Madison, Wisconsin, has worked to create a sustainable round timber supply chain. They take a previously ignored byproduct of sustainably managed forests and engineer cost-efficient, sustainable building structural systems for commercial and residential use.
Four more leaders from innovative ag companies will be presenting in the same session:
- Michael Gilbert, Chief Executive Officer of Semios, an emerging leader in the development of M2M technology for agriculture. Their technology enables growers of high-value crops to monitor for insect pests, plant diseases and micro-climates and determine where and when to best take action to protect and increase crop value. They are at the forefront of a new wave of agricultural technology innovation involving precision agriculture, biological pest control and data management. Semios is a 2014 Ag Innovation Showcase alum.
- Tomás Peña, Co-Founder & Chief Financial Officer of S4, an ag IT company that provides an easy-to-use web platform to helps clients deal with information overload by aggregating detailed, accurate agricultural data and using it to help clients improve their production processes and protocols. S4 integrates multiple sources of information by geo-referencing it, mapping production data against Google maps. This enables more robust, real time risk management and resource allocation. S4 has started their application ofr the 2015 Ag Innovation Showcase.
- David Rosenberg, Chief Executive Officer of Aerofarms, which was founded in 2004. AeroFarms® is a mission-driven company leading the way to address our global food crisis by building, owning, and operating farms that grow locally flavorful, safe, healthy food in a sustainable and socially responsible way, setting a new standard for totally controlled agriculture. An environmental champion, they have been fundamentally transforming the agriculture business by disintermediating the supply chain by enabling local farming at commercial scale all year round. Aerofarms is a 2010 Ag Innovation Showcase alum.
- Mike Mills, Vice President, of Alchimia, Inc., a Missouri based biomaterial processing technology integration, commercialization and project development company. Alchimia is initially positioned with novel processing approaches first proven by Inventure Chemicals, which are enabling technologies that fully unlock the value sequestered within biomaterials. Alchimia’s process can ulock the potential values of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, while allowing for segregation and purification of high value micro-compounds often overlooked within commodity processing.
Insights, experience (positive and negative) and perspective, many from Larta's own stable of innovators and alumni, are on the agenda. On Tuesday, June 23rd at the Innovations in Ag Biotech panel beginning at 10:15 a.m., you can see and hear from Marcus Meadows-Smith, CEO of BioConsortia, Inc, Andy Renz, VP of Business Development from Benson Hill Biosystems, and Naveen Sikka, CEO of TerViva, Inc. All three speakers have been featured at the Ag Innovation Showcase.
Wednesday, June 24 beginning at 1:15 Theodor Fowler, CEO of JDCPhosphate, Inc., and Jorge Heraud, CEO of Blue River Technology, are speakers on the panel: Raising Capital for AgTech (Then & Now). Both are Ag Innovation Showcase alums. Jorge was also enrolled in our NSF program in 2012.
The AgTech Week speaking faculty has more than 75 sector-focused thought leaders, including Felicia Marcus, chair of the California State Water Resources board, who will discuss the realities of the California drought, and Jack Bobo, senior advisor for biotechnology at the U.S. Department of State.
Representatives from Bayer CropScience, Monsanto, Syngenta Ventures, and Dow AgroSciences will discuss trends in research and M&A, while leading venture investors will discuss the evolution of agtech as an asset class. Top producers will share the farmer’s perspective in “A View from the Field.”
AgTech Week will provide 2.5 days of networking, engaging presentations, and panels and interactive workshops, all designed to educate and inspire investors and entrepreneurs in the food and agriculture technology sectors worldwide.