Start-Ups in the World Agri-Tech Spotlight: Ones to Watch

Fifteen dynamic international start-ups will take the spotlight at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco (March 19-20), with breakthrough solutions ranging from soil health, crop optimization, fertilizers and healthy biotics, to precision irrigation, insect monitoring, off road automation, AI and digitized farming operations.

From the summit’s acclaimed Technology Showcase pitching sessions to its dedicated TechHub area, these innovators offer game-changing partnership and investment opportunities for the 1,000+ global agribusinesses, food brands and investors who attend the summit each year to tap the freshest thinking in sustainable agriculture.
Featured start-ups include:

  • Aerobotics (South Africa) provides tree crop and vineyard protection to growers around the globe, through artificial intelligence. The Aerobotics Aeroview platform uses cutting-edge drone and satellite imagery to facilitate early problem detection and alerts. Aerobotics has processed over 13 million trees to-date, setting the standard for tree crop analytics globally and innovating agricultural processes as we know them.
  • AgroCares (Holland) delivers cutting edge data solutions to measure nutrients and other key parameters in soil, feed and leaf. It provides the world’s farming community, with accessible, affordable data-based precision farming tools to extensively and sustainably increase crop yields, contributing to solving the global food gap.
  • Atmonia (Iceland) is developing a breakthrough electro-catalytic process for generating aqueous ammonia from air and water, for direct use as fertilizer through irrigation. The Atmonia process, unlike conventional ammonia production, has zero emissions and works at ambient pressure and temperature and is based on economical and abundant catalysts.
  • Bontera BioAg (USA) has a mission to transform agriculture on a global scale through state-of-the-art sustainable technologies. Its products are based on naturally occurring soil microbes selected for superior performance and functionality. These specialized microbes are the catalysts for disease prevention, optimal soil fertility and increased crop yield. Bontera’s products are sold in several countries around the world and continue to make a positive impact in the markets it serves.
  • Cattle Care (USA) applies AI video analytics to increase dairy farmers’ revenue and make cows healthier at the same time. The product identifies cows in the barn by their unique black and white patterns. Using low-cost commodity video cameras Cattle Care detects, recognizes and tracks every cow as well as business processes, and makes decisions for the farmer about the treatment of a particular cow or a whole barn.
  • Dynium Robot (UK) is launching in the US in 2019. Precision farming technologies have previously been beyond the reach of orchards because of the inability of aerial imagery to detect diseases below the canopy. Using Dynium’s advanced vision and LiDAR based driverless navigation system, orchard farmers can fully automate crop care and capture data below the canopy 24/7. Coupled with Dynium’s cloud-based crop analytics, farmers can apply precision farming techniques to reduce spraying costs and crop losses.
  • FaunaPhotonics (Denmark) is a globally recognized leader in sustainable farming practices. It enables the agriculture sector to reduce its chemical use by more than 40% in insect control. Intelligent sensor solutions digitally map insect populations, assisting farmers to identify when and where to spray insecticides. Already working with Tier 1 players in digital farming, by the end of 2019, FaunaPhotonics will have a works-like version of the insect sensor functional in its go-to-market crop.
  • FOLIUM Science (UK) leads in bioscience technology for the healthy biotic era. Its game-changing, patented science harnesses naturally occurring mechanisms to selectively remove unwanted pathogenic and spoilage bacteria, working to deliver solutions for increased productivity at all points in the food and agriculture value chain. Its Guided Biotics™ maintain healthy animals when added to animal feed or drinking water by selectively reducing unwanted bacteria, forming a major tool in the armoury of animal production improvement and biosecurity systems.
  • GroGuru (USA) has an innovative solution for precision irrigation monitoring and management, that includes its revolutionary wireless underground system solution, which significantly lowers the deployed cost and total cost of ownership for farmers. Its solution enables a price point and convenience to break-open the market for high volume annual field crops. The payback period is less than one growing season, and the system typically saves farmers 20% on input costs, while increasing yield by 10%.
  • Micropep Technologies (France) is a disruptive biotech start-up developing a new generation of crop stimulation and protection solutions based on a unique kind of active ingredients: miPEPs, natural peptides produced by plant cells to regulate their gene expression. Products comprising miPEPs can be used to transiently regulate the expression level of these genes and improve the corresponding phenotypes. Micropep recently closed a €4m round led by Sofinnova Partners to invest in discovery and product development platforms.
  • Pebble Labs (USA/Hong Kong) safely and sustainably eliminate pathogens in agriculture, aquaculture and vector-borne disease without chemicals and antibiotics. The company is developing a platform technology to target a wide range of diseases: bacterial, viral and fungal by using RNAi gene silencing delivered via engineered symbiotic bacteria naturally found in the host.
  • Pheronym (USA) is an agricultural biotechnology company which enables pesticide-free farming, based in Alachua, Florida and Davis California. The company’s bio-remediation process uses a new pheromone to control plant-parasitic nematodes (microscopic roundworms) in an eco-friendly way and also beneficial nematodes’ efficacy to eliminate pest insects.
  • Solynta (Netherlands) is a breeding and biotechnology company which develops and applies new breeding technologies to convert potatoes into a hybrid crop, with potential to unlock billions of dollars in farmgate revenue. New potato varieties offer better characteristics for consumers, processors and farmers while having lower environmental impact.
  • (Singapore/South Africa) provides cloud-based collaboration services to farmers, connecting every worker inside and outside the farm through digital boards specifically designed for simple task management and in-the-field data collection and measurement. Its open API platform seamlessly integrates third-party technology and applications, a data-rich ecosystem enabling value transactions through fin-tech and blockchain solutions.
  • WeedOUT (Israel) exploits sterility to win the battle against resistant weeds, a new strategy in the world of weed control. Its products are biologically based, mimic natural processes and provide robust and long-lasting solutions for this significant issue facing global agriculture. The novel technology develops unique proprietary weed pollen to prevent the generation of viable resistant weed seeds.

They will be joined by the finalists of the Radicle Challenge and World Agri-Tech Pitch Day, alongside dozens more innovators taking advantage of the summit’s special rates for start-ups to maximize their opportunities to learn and network with industry leaders and investors.

The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit takes place twice per year in San Francisco and London, generating valuable opportunities for networking, knowledge exchange and deal-making among its international delegation of agribusinesses, technology providers, entrepreneurs and investors.
Full information on the summit, agenda, opportunities and delegate registration is available at