Seed World

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to Host Ag Innovation Showcase

Drones that monitor crops and send thousands of data points to software that breaks it down for farmers. Baskets of strawberries bought at the grocery store are traced to who picked them, where they were picked, and when. Greenhouse gas eliminated by recycling it into fuel or feed.

Twenty of today’s most imaginative and cutting-edge agtech startups will take to the stage to pitch their products to an audience of investors, farmers, and researchers at the 8th Annual Ag Innovation Showcase Sept. 12-14 at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

“The technologies showcased this year range from gene editing to bug farming,” says Rohit Shukla, CEO of Larta Institute and event co-founder. “We put the industry’s best ideas in front of people who know the next big thing when they see it.”

The companies come from around the globe with products that address the world’s toughest ag issues: water management, disease, yield, insects, weeds, distribution and automation.

“This year’s crop of innovators keeps the aim of the Showcase on point by presenting products that benefit how we grow what we eat, how we track what we eat, and what we actually eat,” says Shukla.

Out of 84 applicants, the 20 startups that rose to the top are thought to be the most novel and commercially viable. Half are from outside the United States, representing innovations from Argentina, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Since 2009:

  • 83 percent of companies that participated in the event found new investor leads.
  • $477 million has been raised post-Showcase by presenting companies.
  • 97 percent of the companies were introduced to new partnership opportunities.
  • Six companies have been acquired.

“We are again humbled to serve as curators of some of the world’s most forward looking new businesses. We know that some of these new businesses will one day be responsible for helping mankind solve some of its most pressing needs,” says Sam Fiorello, chief operating officer, Danforth Plant Science Center and president, Bio Research & Development Growth Park.