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November 09, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Ten start-ups participating in next week’s “AgLaunch365 Row Crop Challenge”

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Ten early stage agtech start-ups focusing on row crop innovations and sustainability, including one that was birthed by a former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) faculty member, are preparing for a week of intense virtual programming during the upcoming edition of the “AgLaunch365 Row Crop Challenge.”

What’s at stake? A chance to pitch to a panel of farmers and aligned investors for a spot in the next “AgLaunch365 Accelerator.” Next week’s event is the entry point for start-ups for AgLaunch’s flagship acceleration program.

The announcement of the 10 comes just a day after we posted our feature article yesterday on the new East Tennessee-based and agtech-focused “Regional Innovation Cluster” that AgLaunch and the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center are leading. Ironically, the company with direct ties to the Volunteer State is S&J Nanochemicals, a participant in the 2020 edition of the “AgLaunch Bootcamp” hosted virtually by the two.

S&J Nanochemicals was founded by Sou Palchoudry while an Assistant Professor at UTC. She is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Dayton and still focused on novel nanoparticle fertilizer products that catalyze growth, yield, and longevity in a variety of crops at a single drop, while increasing environmental sustainability.

Palchoudry and the other nine teams will spend next Monday through Friday refining their value proposition, meeting with leading farmers and agricultural industry experts, and improving their pitch and go-to market strategy.

Finalists for the Row Crop Challenge were selected using a panel of farmers from across the country as part of the AgLaunch farm-centric innovation model. Each start-up is addressing an identified problem in row crop agriculture. AgLaunch’s model, catalyzed and supported by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, aims to position farmers to be competitive in a changing global marketplace.

In addition to S&J Nanochemicals which we spotlighted in this January 2021 article, The other participants are:

  • Crop Intellect, an R&D-based company from the United Kingdom developing disruptive technologies to increase crop productivity sustainably. R-Leaf technology is its flagship technology, enabling the capture of atmospheric NOx to be used as a substrate to produce nitrogen on the surface of plants.
  • Soil Sense by Crop Rx Systems is the next generation in farming, automatically generating actionable data from the soil, optimizing farming efficiency. It is based in Rochelle, IL.
  • Holganix Bio 800+ charges soils with more than 800 species of beneficial soil microbes to build soil health and crop yield. For farmers, ultimately, that means Holganix Bio 800+ improves their profit per acre, giving farmers the tools they need to drive both economic and environmental sustainability on the farm. It is located in Aston, PA.
  • Innatrix, located in Cary, NC, is developing eco-friendly biological products to control critical crop disease by a patented protein evolution platform to help farmers reduce yield loss by at least 10 percent and contribute to regenerative agriculture by increasing soil health.
  • Phinite is making fertilizer 2.0 that is regenerative, renewable and prevents pollution compared to Fertilizer 1.0 that is synthetic, unsustainable and kills soil biology. It is located in Durham, NC.
  • Salin 247 from Ames, IA is working to improve soil health and increase farm profitability by providing growers with small, light-weight, electric-powered, autonomous farm machinery.
  • Susterre is pioneering the use of ultra-high pressure fluid jet technology in row crop planting applications. Its technology promotes the adoption of no-till farming, lowering the cost of farming while regenerating the soil and preserving the earth’s natural resources. The company is from Toronto, Canada.
  • TopYield Ag is an online community from Zionsville, IN focused on growers and agriculture professionals to learn, share their agriculture knowledge, and build their professional online reputation. We help our clients better understand the voice of the farmer.
  • Vulpes Agricultural Corporation turns agricultural waste into carbon sources that act as carriers of nutrients and water to improve crop nutrient uptake by up to 300 percent. The St. Louis-based team brings extensive experience in manufacturing, R&D, regulation, and supply chain.

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