AgLaunch Bootcamp kicks off

by George Jared (gjared@talkbusiness.net) 285 views 

Seven startups have been selected to participate in the AgLaunch Bootcamp hosted this week in partnership with Arkansas State University and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture at the Delta Center for Economic Development in Jonesboro.

This is the second of two bootcamps AgLaunch has hosted as part of the agricultural-focused Small Business Administration’s Regional Innovation Cluster. These teams represent innovations in the food and agriculture sector demonstrating next-generation approaches to creating sustainable farming systems of the future.

“The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is excited to partner with AgLaunch and Arkansas State University to help cultivate new innovation in agriculture,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “With impressive teams like we have participating in the AgLaunch bootcamp, I feel confident that agricultural technology will continue its important role in keeping Arkansas agriculture strong and the top industry in our state.”

Participating teams will have access to mentors, entrepreneurial support, and most importantly, farmers and industry leaders. This year’s cohort of teams include:

Animal Health Analytics is monitoring livestock biometrics and using big data to provide solutions that improve the wellness of the animal, provide cost savings for farm operations and additional confidence for consumers in the US food supply.

Cobbler Technologies, Inc. has developed and deployed a software as a service platform for agricultural companies that easily integrates multiple data sources and allows users to customize dashboards to help them make better decisions and share reports securely.

FareMarket is an online grocery store with an emphasis on local products and same-day delivery.

GSS Group has developed a vertical hydroponic tower to increase production capacity of greenhouse “dead-space.”

Lepidext is a proprietary sterilizing virus to organically eradicate corn earworm.

Smart Farm Systems has created a remote, wireless monitoring and control of wells and irrigation.

SymSoil is scaling indigenous microorganisms to bring the soil foodweb to market.

“I am so excited for these teams and the experience they will have on the campus of Arkansas State University during the AgLaunch BootCamp. Entrepreneurship and innovation are critical for future advances in agriculture. It’s going to be a great week filled with learning opportunities that will help these startups be successful. I can’t wait to interact with the team members,” said Dr. Timothy Burcham, ASU Dean of Agriculture.

“This is the first year that AgLaunch has partnered to host one of these intensive bootcamps in Arkansas. Building off of the recent Small Business Administration’s Regional Innovation Cluster Award announcement, AgLaunch sees this continued work with Arkansas State and the State of Arkansas as vital to support early-stage companies in the Mid-South region,” Burcham said. “This year’s itinerary includes one-on-one counseling with entrepreneur experts, alumni teams, and companies involved in emerging markets and crops, as well as a farm tour with one of AgLaunch’s longest partners, Ritter Ag in Marked Tree, Arkansas.”

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