Geovisual

Geovisual

THRIVE startup GeoVisual is leading a breakthrough in farm automation by enhancing the art of forecasting with the science of artificial intelligence.  Its OnSight platform provides farmers critical crop information over broad areas, in real time and well before harvesting. Agronomists use it as an early warning system, to spot and mitigate problems in time to prevent losses. Growers and shippers use it to plan when and where to harvest, to manage supply and demand, optimize profitability and reduce labor costs. By combining aerial imagery, agronomic and weather data, and field information collected as part of daily operations, OnSight is able to analyze crop status over thousands of acres and deliver timely results to decision makers, in the office and the field.

Founded in 2010 as an advanced image analytics company focused on the forestry and ag sectors, GeoVisual developed OnSight with over $1 million in grants from NASA and first applied its computer vision algorithms to satellite imagery for global monitoring of forests, cropland and pastures. Its first commercial sale was to one of the three largest forest conservation NGOs in the world, which is today using GeoVisual’s technology in South America and Madagascar.

In the process, GeoVisual identified the relative lack of a compelling ROI for the use of aerial imagery in the fresh produce industry, particularly since users had no way of connecting what they saw in imagery to specific causes and effects on the ground. GeoVisual distinguishes itself by being able to quickly and inexpensively demonstrate an ROI to new customers and help them set up a monitoring program that integrates with product management and business processes. Depending on the specific crop and customer need, GeoVisual can apply its proprietary analytics to imagery from satellites, aircraft, drones and mobile phones. It recently booked its first revenues from the ag industry in California and is conducting a growing number of trials with major producers. Customer validation has proven an ROI and revealed a large opportunity industry-wide and internationally. In the coming year, it will be expanding both the acres and diversity of crops covered by OnSight.

Trace Genomics

Trace Genomics

Trace Genomics is revolutionizing the multi-billion dollar diagnostics industry by helping large food producers to detect pathogens and beneficial microbes and anticipate crop disease - providing runway to growers to proactively manage disease and increase crop yield. Trace Genomics delivers a first of its kind soil-borne microbe diagnostic test, providing a full stack laboratory, bioinformatics and data analytics offering that covers strain-specific identification and simultaneous detection of disease-causing and beneficial fungi, viruses, bacteria, and nematodes - all with one test.

Trace Genomics’ platform technology detects a comprehensive panel of pathogens and beneficials, and delivers crop and farm-specific disease risk profiles in 2-3 weeks. By focusing primarily on pre-harvest testing of soil-borne diseases and soil biohealth, the solution can extend its offering add value towards later stages, such as identifying microbes that increase shelf life.Using Trace Genomics platform genomics and machine learning technology, food growers can build pathogen & disease risk maps of farms pre-leasing, or pre-planting in order to optimize farming decisions such as cultivar choice, soil treatments, and nutrient use. Advanced growers can use Trace’s machine learning platform to analyze and identify how microorganisms (both beneficial and pathogenic) are affected by different management conditions.

Soil-borne diseases are host-specific, and characterization of soil-borne pathogens requires a high level of strain-specificity. These challenges can only be solved using genomic technology, but sequencing and interpretation of genomic information is a highly technical process that requires intensive computational and laboratory tools. Trace Genomics’ interdisciplinary team of molecular biologists, bioinformaticians, engineers, and designers tackle these challenges by delivering complex insights in a simple, actionable report of top soil-borne diseases of economic concern, all within a few weeks.

MagGrow

MagGrow

Magrow Global is a magnetic spraying technology that mitigates spray drift by over 80 percent while maintaining superior coverage during conventional agriculture applications.

The UN Food and Agriculture organization IPPC Secretariat estimates that 20 to 40 percent of our global crop is lost due to plant pests and diseases. Growers combat the reality of pests, which include biological organism, including weeds, pathogens, and arthropods by spraying herbicide, fungicides and insecticide to mitigate damage to crops, in order to improve quality and yield. An unintended consequence of spraying is spray drift, which occurs when application dust or droplets move through the air or soil to an unintended site. Nearby communities, adjacent crop fields, plants, water supply or and other bodies of water are all impacted by spray application.

All living plants and soil have a magnetic field, so when MagGrow’s technology attaches magnetic inserts into a spraying nozzle, an electromagnetic charge is infused into the liquid spray, resulting in targeted attraction and adhesion to the plant. The superior drift control that is provided by MagGrow means that less pesticide inputs are needed while coverage and efficacy is maintained or enhanced. In addition, MagGrow has shown significant reduction in spray drift, reduction in water usage, increase in crop yield, and reduced labor input due to fewer changeovers of the sprayer, and less Waste and environmental contamination.

Founded in 2013, the Irish MagGrow tested its prototype sprayers with leading agricultural research institutes Wageningen University & Proeftuin Zwaagdijk (Netherlands). In 2015, the company successfully completed field studies on commercial farms in The Netherlands, Kenya & Ethiopia. Field trials with its partners demonstrate that the MagGrow spraying technology can reduce the amount of water that is needed to spray crops by 75% compared to conventional methods.

MagGrow operates in two distinct markets, tailoring its product lines to distinct growing practices of developing and developed markets. In developing countries, where the average farm size is only 1ha and spraying is mostly conducted using simple knapsack sprayers, MagGrow offers a turnkey range of backpack sprayers that allow smallholder farmers to reduce the water & chemical application rates by 80% when compared to conventional spraying methods. For developed markets where growers use specialized spraying equipment such as field boom sprayers and air blast sprayers, MagGrow’s product is sold in the form of a retrofit kit that can be easily installed onto all manufacturer sprayer types. 

Agribody Technologies

Agribody Technologies

 

GENETIC MODIFICATION AND GENOME EDITING COMBAT WORLD FOOD SHORTAGES

Current success: impressive greenhouse studies on many crops, successful field trials of elite alfalfa with 20-45% yield increases, licenses to major seed companies.

Agribody Technologies is an agricultural biotechnology company with patented genetic technology that is proven to significantly improve crop yields, enhance product shelf life, reduce plant disease, and increase tolerance to low nutrients/water and extreme weather. 

Growers face growing demands for high-quality, low-cost food in the face of a burgeoning population, decrease in arable land and resources, and extreme weather events. Farmers and seed companies must prepare for these profound changes by substantially increasing the efficiency of food production and storage under normal and stressed conditions.

Using Agribody’s patent protected transgenic technology, farmers can grow a larger variety of crops with significantly higher yields using the same inputs. What sets Agribody apart is that it is the only field-demonstrated, broadly applicable technology that has proven to significantly improve crop yields.  The commercialization of genome editing in crop plants, requiring no governmental deregulation, is expected to yield significant and rapid revenues with no GM risks.  Founders and team members have combined >225 years of directly relevant experience in their specialty areas.

The company’s technology was validated in lab and greenhouse studies across multiple crop species.  During two years of replicated field trials, yield improvements of 20-45% were demonstrated in an elite alfalfa variety, while maintaining crop biomass quality.  The firm has acquired 16 issued U.S. patents with counterparts in 10 countries, and is prosecuting 5 US patent applications. 

Acuity Agriculture

Acuity Agriculture

Using intuitive soil sensors, Acuity Agriculture helps growers monitor their field conditions in real-time. 

Historically, yield maximization has been the primary driver of agricultural decision-making, but as costs associated with production rise, resource efficiency is of increasing concern to growers. Real-time access to soil metrics, including moisture, salinity, and temperature, empowers farmers to take prompt corrective action if conditions are suboptimal. Data-driven decision-making presents a sharp departure from the traditional use of conventional wisdom within the industry.

Though experience is invaluable in agriculture, even the most seasoned growers can be ill-equipped to manage fluctuating weather conditions, seasonal anomalies, and plant demands. With help from sensors, growers can allocate their resources more strategically, drive down production costs, and, over time, improve yield.

While other companies also offer soil sensor services, Acuity offers those same services and more at a fraction of the cost. In addition, purchased sensors are installed by an Acuity representative at no additional cost, and a flat monthly subscription fee includes customer support and device maintenance.

Farmers interested in purchasing sensors can expect a one-day, hassle-free installation which includes a 10-minute dashboard orientation. Soil data will be available instantly.

Edyn

Edyn

Edyn is a precision agriculture firm that helps large scale farms, urban gardeners and hobbyists to improve yield and efficiency using the world’s only native iOS/Android apps and largest crowdsourced database of commodity and hobby crops.  Designed by Jawbone Jambox’s founder Yves Behar, the Edyn hardware/software platform have been sold to 12,000 customers at Home Depot stores across the U.S.

Inserted into the soil, the Edyn Sensor and Water Valve monitor soil moisture, temperature, humidity, light and nutrition. When paired with the sensor, the water valve dispenses the precise amount of water that the user's plants need at any given time. The device is solar-powered, and sends data wirelessly to the cloud. Using the Edyn app (available on iOS and Android), growers can remotely check in on the health of their crops and soil from anywhere in the world. When water or fertilizer is necessary, Edyn users receive a push notification to attend to their crops. The Edyn app can also recommend seeds and fertilizer that are well-suited to the user's location, and provides easy links to purchase these items online.

In 2016 Edyn is launching its 2nd generation Sensor product, which includes improved moisture detection, longer battery life and is the first ag tech device to leverage the emerging NB-IOT wireless standard. 

 

Food Origins

Food Origins

FOOD ORIGINS IS AN IOT AND SAAS AGRICULTURE-FOCUSED PLATFORM THAT COLLECTS FIELD PRODUCTION AND LABOR PRODUCTIVITY DATA IN HAND HARVESTED SPECIALTY CROPS  

Food Origins provides IOT devices to companies that utilize labor to hand harvest fruits and produce. Food Origins provides unique labels that can be pre-applied to packaging, enabling employees to scan these bar codes in the field registering the location, package, and employee ID. This data is passed via the cloud to provide information regarding the progress of the harvest, the density of the production in the field, and the velocity of the harvest. Through this unique system, farmers and marketers have access to logistical data to ensure they have sufficient crew to complete the harvest and market for the sale of the product. 


Food Origin's product data enables retailers and consumers to understand the freshness, food miles and source of the produce. In addition, the data also allow precision comprehension of who and where the produce originated during food safety call-outs. 


In addition, the same data is also utilized to communicate the productivity information of the harvesters. Currently, Food Origins is incorporating an employee portal which calls out more productive harvesters as well as crop production and post-harvest trends.

AgVoice

AgVoice

AGVOICE is designed to fill a critical gap in agriculture today; that is, that professionals in the industry do not have a hands-free, eyes-free enabled solution to assist them throughout their work day. These workers are relegated to using clipboards, traditional note pads or touchscreen devices to record their insights. As an example, a crop specialist will visit multiple farms per day and many times wait until he gets back to the truck or office/home at the end of the day to record insights relying upon memory and taking extra time and effort. With more general consumer demand for traceability back to the source, and increased federal and state compliance standards, AgVoice’s customer testing in the past 11 months has demonstrated consistent results: allowing agriculture professionals to capture information as it happens, increasing the accuracy of their existing insights and improves their efficiency.

Growing up on a farm himself, AGVOICE founder Bruce Rasa saw a superior service that his team could build from this market need. After tesying Google’s smart glasses as the first person with a focus in global agriculture and collecting feedback from extensive research and field interviews, he launched the AGVOICE software service anchored in the massive smartphone market.

AGVOICE works by digitizing and closing the entire crop production and compliance supply chain, demonstrating a 20 percent increase in productivity. The team envisions becoming the global standard for the agriculture sector by by leveraging its agriculture industry, software innovation, user experience design, and product management and sales backgrounds and first mover advantage. Part of its roadmap strategy is building on its empirical customer discovery which shows that Ag Professionals can spend an average of 30 -40% of their time traveling between operations. As a result, AGVOICE is building a first of its kind software service that enables users to work safely in both walking & driving modes. 

Inteligistics

Inteligistics

Inteligistics is the provider of wireless temperature visibility solutions for the food industry, bringing together technologies such as the Internet of Things, Big Data, advance communications, sensors, RFID and cloud based software. These solutions improve quality, freshness and shelf life of food, enable traceability and regulatory compliance (e.g. Food Safety Modernization Act) and manage and minimize food waste.

One of the primary causes of food waste along the supply chain is poor temperature management; in fact, over 50 percent of all fresh produce goes to waste which has dire implications to the US and the world. The waste in the food distribution is considerably reduced through diligent temperature management. The food industry today relies on manual recording and paper based reporting that lack integrity and traceability along the food chain.

Since its launch in 2004, Inteligistics has worked with customers like the US Navy in order to achieve 'Total Asset Visibility' of all assets around the world, creating an agile technology platform that was successfully commercialized in 2012. In 2013, the company turned its attention to fresh produce industry to address the quality and safety of food enabled by their wireless temperature monitoring.

Inteligistics’ temperature visibility solutions cut across the food value chain all the way from harvest to retail store shelf, managing the lifecycle of food between each player involved. By monitoring each handoff, the company’s solutions predict the remaining shelf life of any food product and communicate the whole supply chain story element by element.

Inteligistics is the only total solution designed for fresh produce and food industry. Its solutions provide continuous and consistent temperature story at every stage in the distribution chain. Only Inteligistics' growing and shipping customers possess the tools to consistently and diligently manage their ‘cut to cool’ time/temperature management. Using the solutions, the retailers can gather accurate quality and shelf life of the produce that arrives at their distribution centers.  Inteligistics systems streamline operations and compliance set by regulatory bodies like the Food & Drug Administration.

Soliculture

Soliculture

It is predicted that food production will need to double by 2030 order to keep up with our growing world population and expanding middle class. Agricultural has to meet this challenge at a time when natural resources are becoming more scarce, new farm land is in rapid decline, and the climate is increasingly unpredictable. Food production in greenhouses is more efficient and can be done in any climate. Because of this, Soliculture sees surging growth the greenhouse industry, with a 14% increasing in greenhouse area worldwide from 2014-2015. Soliculture’s LUMO panels can support the greenhouse industry by increasing profitability for growers. 

While solar energy has always been the primary ingredient in a grower’s crop production it hasn’t been until more recently that it has also become a component of the actual powering of farming operations due to advances and lower price points of photovoltaic solar technology. Indeed, energy conservation is one avenue that growers are pursuing to increase profitability and reduce local greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Soliculuture’s LUMO solar panels generate electricity above crop production. This electricity can be used on-site for operations or sold back to the electricity grid where Net Energy Metering (NEM) is available. Customers in territories where utilities offer NEM can offset their electricity costs with electricity production, bringing their annual electricity bill to zero. Other ways to reduce energy costs with LUMO include selling energy production via Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or Feed-In-Tariff (FIT). Depending on electricity rates and local utility regulations, growers can generate revenue from electricity of $20-40K/yr for every acre of greenhouse. In most cases, LUMO can generate enough electricity to offset the consumption of an entire growing facility.

In addition to the cost-savings from electricity production, LUMO also reduces the up-front capital investment of a new greenhouse construction. Solar incentives, like the 30% Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), can be applied to the entire greenhouse construction, providing a rebate to growers. By incorporating LUMO into a new greenhouse construction, growers can actually save up to 30% on their capital investment, compared to a greenhouse without LUMO.

Soliculture achieves these results by integrating solar energy panels at the source of crop production, enabling growers to utilize on-site energy resources without compromising valuable land area and crop production. Based on numerous plant trails, the company has demonstrated that by utilizing greenhouse frames to support an electricity generating roof doubles profit per acre of the protected agriculture crop and creates unprecedented scale for combined solar deployment and agricultural production technologies.

Founded by UCSC Physics Professor Glenn Alers in 2012, Soliculture began conducting plant trails with its semitransparent greenhouse solar panel to test the solar spectrum conducive to plant growth and the simultaneous generation of electricity. In 2015 the company combined its product with Solaria’s cell technology to ensure the hardware product’s scalability, with its first commercial 10Kw installation in Watsonville later in the year

Soliculture has conducted over four years of crop trials under the LUMO light spectrum. These have taken place in the Monterey Bay, Central California, Southern California, and outside of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. Trials have ranged from University studies to commercial production, on a variety of crops including vegetables, flowers, and berries. The majority of the trials indicated no statistical difference in plant growth under LUMO, compared to a control crop. In some cases, positive effects under LUMO have ranged from early crop maturation, disease resistance and longer production time.   

The Soliculture team recently expanded our manufacturing capacity with our partner in Ontario, Canada, where LUMO panels for all our North America projects will be made. Soliculture is partnering with greenhouse manufacturers and suppliers to accelerate penetration of our product in the commercial agricultural industry.

By 2020, Soliculture will penetrate the international market beyond North America, where greenhouse production is thriving in Europe, China, and Japan. 

specright

specright

Specifications are the critical DNA across the value chain ensuring that companies succeed in delivering their product to the market and get paid for it.

With many companies managing their packaging specifications in systems that are not specifically designed to manage specs, the result is a proliferation of SKU’s, higher costs, greater business risk, and efficiencies throughout the value chain.  Accurate specs enable the value chain to function faster and effectively, while inaccurate specifications impact logistics, transportation, speed to market, responsiveness to recall/failure, etc.

specright is a specification management company with a vision to leverage specification expertise and cloud technology to improve the way food travels from the field to the end consumer efficiently. Offering the industry a better way to create and manage those specs is paramount to the survival of the food product itself. specright’s mission is to empower customer efficiencies by providing an Intelligent Specification Management Platform that is available anytime, anywhere from any device.

The packaging specification market is a $585B segment, with around 200m packaging SKUs in the world. With 60m in the United States alone – this number is growing daily. Today, there is no common method, technology solution, or platform for handling packaging specifications and they are managed through disparate systems and solutions, such as emails, spreadsheets, binders and ERP systems. ERP & PLM systems are not built for SKU and specification management - Source/Share/Analysis and specification repositories are generally PDF-based and are not comprehensive enough or allow intelligent data analysis.

Compared with some of the current methods for managing specifications, specright is designed specifically for specification management and is designed by experts in the field. Unlike current methods, specright delivers intelligent specification management through dynamic analytics that empower informed decision-making, increase transparency, reduce the time to bid, secure easier transition to new suppliers, and generally increase efficiencies across the value chain.

specright focuses on controlling specifications and sharing information for products, packaging, and supply chain touch points. The company’s cloud-based tools and engineering services are accessible to players along the entire supply chain: growers, packers, shippers and retailers. With all partners sharing a real-time, single source of truth: quality, food safety, net yields, and profits improve while costs decrease for everyone.

 

Companies need a fast, simple solution to:

1.     Share their specification DNA both internally and externally.

2.     An easy method to audit specifications for quality, 3rd party authentication and transparency.

3.     A solution to assist in analyzing their specification to reduce SKU proliferation, improve efficiency and reduce costs by transitioning suppliers quickly and employing a faster time to market.

 

With specright’s standardized cloud-based technology, companies are able to change the way company specifications are shared, analyzed and audited.  This standard specification methodology allows for viewing/interacting with/sharing data by everyone, making it easier to cooperate, adding value to relationships and creates the standard for doing business.

 

With specright, customers find:

•       Bids that took 6 months, now take weeks

•       Transition of business to new suppliers is faster than ever

•       Audits that took months to prepare, are live

•       Products are faster to market with quickly executed requirements

•       Reduction of recalls due to faulty labeling with revision tracking

•       Bottlenecks/duplicates quickly identified for cost saving initiatives

  

Matthew Wright, President and Founder of specright has over 24 years of experience in packaging and has held various operational and management roles with International Paper and Temple Inland. From his experience working as a Vice President running a $500m business unit, working in in Fortune 100 companies and starting and running his own profitable private packaging company, Matthew developed the concept of specright after years of experience seeing how the lack of a standard way of sharing specification data between companies leads to tremendous inefficiencies and exorbitant waste.

 

The remainder of the specright team is composed of professionals with years of experience in packaging, SAAS software, CPG, engineering services, supply chain, and software. They bring a wealth of knowledge in marketing, sales, product development in both large enterprise companies, as well as fast growing profitable companies.

 

In 2014, Matthew started the company by designing and building a cloud-based platform to address specification issues and the costs associated with a lack of standardized specification platform for sharing and communicating spec data. Working with agriculture customers and Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business, Matthew and the team developed a unique solution that gets to the very heart of food packaging and delivery. 

WheyHey

WheyHey

Wheyhey’s mission is to combat global health epidemics by developing the world’s first high protein, sugar-free ice cream.

Beginning its roots in the sports nutrition market,  Wheyhey has expanded to mainstream grocery and health and wellness populations to provide an ice cream that is all natural, low carbohydrate, low sugar, protein rich and gluten free.

 

Founded by by physiologists and biomechanics Damien Kennedy and Greg Duggan, the company was born of frustration over the lack of food offerings and miseducation of consumers around health foods and a corresponding lifestyle. After extensive research and development, the team’s first product launched as a 20g of whey protein isolate and zero sugar ice cream. The product is the first of many that intends to shift consumer purchasing away from high sugar and calorie snacks to high protein, low to no sugar, wholesome foods. With global awareness and demand for protein rich, natural products experiencing explosive growth, Wheyhey is successfully taking the market by storm.

Since launching, the Wheyhey team has built strategic partnerships with brands like Nike, Under Armor, Reebok, and Cancer Research Center. Going forward, the team is working on new products as well as a build a platform that will extend the WheyHey brand into multiple channels including the sports nutrition, health and wellness, and care and senior homes.