10 companies representing 5 different geographies gathered in at the Taylor Farms building in Salinas, CA for the third annual THRIVE seed camp. After receiving 136 applications from 40 countries from around the world, the 10 finalists were selected with the help and guidance of THRIVE's corporate partners. Technologies in this year's cohort range from soil health and food safety and traceability, to decision making support, robotics and infrastructure. For the next 8 weeks the startups will work one-on-one with expert technology and horticulture mentors and engage with farmers for deployment opportunities. In June, all ten finalists will pitch at the THRIVE DEMO day and the Forbes AgTech Innovation Summit.
Specialty crops require precision water application, nutrient management, growing degree days, night time chilling hours, narrow harvesting windows, fluctuating post-processing needs and costs, and a limited time frame to transport and sell. Without insight at the very beginning of the chain, errors throughout the process become magnified and exponentially more expensive. Arable’s innovative hardware combines a traditional weather station with a six-band spectrometer and acoustic disdrometer. Its software synthesizes this information to provide upper management, irrigation teams, field workers and sales and marketing staff with critical data points needed to predict quality, timing and yield of different crops, adding value through savings, yield and quality.
Irrigation consumes almost 70% of Brazil’s fresh water and almost half is wasted because farmers lack knowledge of when to do it and how much water to use. In order to improve productivity and optimize the use of resources in agriculture, Agrosmart connects farmers to a management system that monitors irrigation and other farming decisions with sensors, satellite imaging and weather forecast. Agrosmart’s renting model includes hardware, maintenance and software for an annual fee of ~$20K with a ~3.5x ROI for the farmer in the first season.
Ag businesses do not have access to high frequency data from the diversified farms with whom they do business. This information gap leads to sub optimal decisions based on manual, outdated information and limits client growth. AgShift closes the information gap that exists with an end-to-end platform that combines machine learning, image processing, the internet of things and mobile technology. The solution enables ag financial institutions (banks, insurance), ag buyers (retailers, food chains, packers) and ag suppliers (seeds, fertilizers and equipment providers) to make more impactful commerce decisions.
Agrifood industries manage too much information and use too much time to do it. The EZ-Lab product is a digital hub that manages, certifies and shares agri-information, thus integrating every type of data coming from a company’s information system, with the purpose of eliminating the operation of data insertion by farms and the whole agribusiness production chain. In doing so, EZ-Lab solves the problem of acquiring and organizing information needed for quality certification and traceability.
FarmWise aims at resolving one of the most pressing issues in agriculture: reconciling productivity and sustainability by building autonomous mobile robots that automatically remove weeds in the field. FarmWise’s product is an all-inclusive service that entirely removes the hurdle for farmers who utilize a crew or need to buy, learn and use complicated machines. FarmWise technicians drive to a farm, set-up and monitor the autonomous machines, and deliver a high-quality, cost-effective weeding service in the field.
Farm Dog provides a management solution for data, labor and inputs. Via an in-field application andweb dashboard, all supported by data analytics, users of all devices (Android/iOS, phone/tablet) access Farm Dog (offline or online) and utilize its standardized yet customizable observation forms. Multiple field checks, geo-referencing, route and time tracking, photos, and real-time reporting are all supported. The dashboard provides field management and data analytics, including treatment efficacy analysis while machine learning provides outbreak and scouting alerts.
A large amount of agricultural land that is stressed and polluted is still utilized for food production, especially in developing countries, impacting food safety and crop production. MicroGen Biotech applies constructed functional microbiome technology to increase crop yield and health while protecting food safety by remediating pollutants and improving soil fertility. Microgen has developed a fast and efficient technology which allows identification of functional microbes in 4 months, as compared to years.
Tortuga’s fully automated greenhouse production system improves freshness, shortens the supply chain, and enables better genetics, while reducing chemical and water use. Tortuga AgTech integrates labor-reducing robotics and automation, advanced sensing technologies, computational imaging, and a soilless grow system to grow specialty crops in geographically distributed locations, dramatically reducing shipping times and distances, minimizing wastage, and eliminating methyl bromide and other chemicals from the grow-process.
There is a knowledge gap between professional drone operators using remote sensing technology and the Ag industry. Drone operators know how to collect data, but not how to present useful information and tools that fits into existing Ag industry workflows. UAV-IQ has expertise on both sides of the gap and bridges it by offering drone operators globally available cloud processing and delivers to their Ag clients intuitive visual and statistical information via proprietary, user friendly mobile enterprise software designed for their collaborative workflows. UAV-IQ also provides drone flights.
3Bar Biologics Inc. was founded with a belief that current microbial products in the agriculture market are suboptimal for the growers using them. 3Bar introduces a patent pending inoculant system in a disposable bioreactor that is easily activated by the farmer. On-site growth of beneficial microbes short-cuts the conventional supply chain, resulting in less waste, lower production costs, and more viable microbes directly to the grower.