Meet the Tech Start-Ups Set to Redefine the Future of the Fresh Food Supply Chain

Six international agtech start-ups have been selected to pitch their technologies to a panel of ‘Sharks’ and an audience of 200 leading international indoor and vertical farming operators, agri-food businesses and VC investors at the upcoming Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit on June 20-21 in Brooklyn, New York. AgTech Accelerator™, a unique start-up venture development fund focused on discovering and developing emerging agricultural technology companies, is the Innovation Partner for the summit. Novel farming systems, such as those being showcased, have the potential to transform and modernize the global food system, and are among AgTech Accelerator’s key strategic focus areas. [caption id="attachment_6193" align="alignright" width="300"] John Dombrosky, CEO of AgTech Accelerator[/caption] “Our mission is to identify and shape breakthrough research efforts that will improve efficiencies in the agricultural value chain, fuel the future of farming and enhance human health,” said John Dombrosky, CEO of AgTech Accelerator, who will serve as a Shark for the Technology Showcase. “As the summit’s Innovation Partner, we’re supporting ground-breaking technologies that hold the promise to catalyze the global growth and adoption of indoor and vertical farming, a rapidly evolving space that provides an innovative way to increase food production in a healthy, sustainable and local way. The world of agriculture is moving toward a more sustainable model and we are steadfast in building the next generation of companies discovering and developing innovative farming solutions.” Following a call for entries, six start-ups were chosen to present based on their fresh ideas and approaches as well as their robust go-to-market strategy. They will each have seven minutes to present their solution and outline business plan, followed by questions from the panel and audience. The presenting companies are as follows: • Arugga, a start-up company from Israel, is developing an autonomous ground robot for the global greenhouse farming market, focusing first on tomato greenhouse farming. The Arugga robot will harness artificial intelligence to monitor and treat every individual plant, serving as an invaluable tool to pollinate flowers, optimize yield prediction and detect pests, diseases and other stress conditions with immediate treatment. • City Farm Systems (CFS)’s protected IP offers the most sustainable, environmentally friendly and economically viable urban farms. The UK company’s CloudGro® approach uses cloud computing to manage automated, lightweight greenhouses. This eliminates the costs of distribution for the hardest to transport fresh produce by growing at the point of need using unproductive space and resources. AI and machine learning create grow-to-order crop plans and allow harvests to be buffered to match immediate demand, reducing waste and increasing sales. • LUNA by iUNU is a comprehensive platform that combines continuous imaging with AI, machine learning and computer vision to give indoor growers advanced insights into plant health, readiness, yield forecasting, incipient disease, nutrient deficiency and pest detection. Called a ‘gamechanger’ by Greenhouse Grower magazine, LUNA creates an unparalleled integration of the growing operation to business support tools such as inventory, space and labor management. • Phospholutions has developed an OMRI certified soil amendment to enhance growing substrate for improved fertilizer efficiency. The controlled-release technology soaks up key nutrients in the soil, maintaining plant availability, improving nutrient retention and plant uptake, and stimulating root growth. Less fertilizer needs to be applied, with up to 98% staying in the soil until it is taken up by the plant. The amendment can be recharged with nutrients for years to come offering benefits to the soil and cost-savings over the long term. • PLANTX, based in Tokyo, Japan, is an indoor agriculture technology company that develops plant science and technology for vegetables in a pesticide free environment, and plant machinery which enables vegetables to grow five times more efficiently. • Smart Spectrum develops intelligent software and sensor solutions that improve the quality, predictability and profitability of indoor horticulture through autonomous systems. Its core technology, AgEYE is the largest and most accurate deep learning platform completely dedicated to agriculture; which is used to modify environmental factors to produce uniquely different harvest characteristics of plants. The summit will welcome major international operators from across the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia including Plenty, Shenandoah Growers, AeroFarms, InFarm, Gotham Greens, Badia Farms, Bright Farms, Church Brothers Farms, Bowery, FreshBox Farms, Square Roots and associations including the Japan Plant Factory Association (JPFA) and Association of Vertical Farming (AVF). Co-located with Future Food-Tech (June 19-20), the Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit is part of the World Agri-Tech Innovation Series of summits hosted by Rethink Events, focused on international networking and deal-making for food and agribusinesses, solution providers, entrepreneurs and investors. For more information about the event program, speakers and delegate registration, visit www.indooragtechnyc.com.