Ag Innovation Showcase Blog

Achievements of the Ag Innovation Showcase Community

By August 27, 2017 Speakers, Updates

As we approach this year’s Ag Innovation Showcase, we at Larta are proud to launch regular postings that celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of our community.

Here are several community members who will be speaking at this year’s Ag Innovation Showcase that you won’t want to miss: Nicola Kerslake, Pete Nelson, and Vonnie Estes.

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Six things you need to know about Ag Innovation Showcase, #17AIS

By August 27, 2017 Companies, Speakers, Updates

Replicated from Vox. (August 23, 2017 by Cindy Le)

With the Ag Innovation Showcase right around the corner, we wanted to bring to your attention to six exciting things we see happening at the premier ag event in the U.S.

Ag Showcase Alumni Financial Successes

By August 23, 2017 Companies

Every year the Ag Innovation Showcase selects the most innovative and promising companies working in the Ag sector to present their technologies to our Showcase audience. Past presenting companies have gone on to achieve great commercial success. Over the past 9 years, presenters have raised $510M in funding, found new investor leads, built new partnerships, attracted new talent and been acquired by some of the biggest names in Ag. Below are several recent highlights from the 2016 Ag Innovation Showcase presenting companies. Read more about the achievements of these and other Ag Showcase alumni success stories.
granlular dupont logos

Granular, a software and analytics tool provider that helps farms improve efficiency, has just been acquired by Agtech giant DuPont for 300M. Sid Gorham, Granular’s cofounder and CEO, will continue to lead Granular as well as digital agriculture for DuPont.


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Benson Hill Biosystems, which focuses on developing traits in plants to increase crop yield, has raised $25M in Series B funding round led by Lewis & Clark Ventures.


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NewLeaf Symbiotics, which produces and sells methylotrophic bacteria products for agriculture, has closed a $24M Series C round led by Monsanto Growth Ventures and Otter Capital.


Will Data be the most Profitable Harvest from Farms of the Future?

By August 17, 2017 Ag Issues, Updates





The agriculture industry has become a farmer of big data, as the proliferation of sensor technologies has brought a sea of information into every stage of the supply chain from crop to consumer. But while these sensors bring information and describe conditions that exist, they don’t yet produce insights to solve complex problems or predict how to achieve performance from given inputs. But one day, they might.

Machine learning, whereby computers learn from outcomes without being explicitly programmed and algorithms tease out patterns from vast reams of data, is a promising field of study with the potential to disrupt data rich industries like modern agriculture. As this technology improves and proliferates, machine learning will quickly advance farming from descriptive contexts to prescriptive and predictive ones, recommending (and automating) short and long-term actions that could change the face of farming. How and when will this transition take place?

At the 2017 Ag Innovation Showcase, machine learning will earn center stage as attendees hear through key notes, spotlight sessions, and showcase companies how the yoking of Big Data can herald a paradigm shift that disrupts the oldest of industries.

Whether indoors or out, from drones and satellites above to the invisible workings and modifications of genomes, AIS will provide a farm-centric context for machine learning advancements, making sense of data flows and preparing to revolutionize the next generation of farming. Topics like climate modeling, big data and patterns of traceability to consumers, and soil health will be featured on stage, addressed by the likes of next generation family farmers on-boarding new technology to remain competitive, entrepreneurs with innovations, to R&D efforts from global agribusiness to make sense of stacks of data, increase disease detection, and offer financial predictions.

Join us at the 2017 Ag Innovation Showcase in St. Louis September 11-13 to learn more about how data may be the most profitable harvest from the farms of the future.

Prizes to be awarded at the 2017 Ag Innovation Showcase

By August 16, 2017 Updates

We are proud to be awarding two prizes for the second year at Ag Innovation Showcase: People’s Choice Prize and Larta’s Ideas, energized prize.

Benchmarks for winning the prizes

The Ideas, energized Prize is awarded to the presenting company with the most innovative technology and market-worthy innovation. The prize comes with a cash award and one year of commercialization assistance from Larta Institute.

Entrepreneurs are assessed by a panel from the Ag Innovation Showcase Advisory Committee in four categories:

  1. Showmanship
  2. Novelty of innovation
  3. Commercial potential
  4. Potential to disrupt their market

One presenting company will also be selected by an audience of their peers for the People’s Choice Award. The People’s Choice award comes with one year of commercialization assistance from Larta Institute

Past Winner Ideas, energized prize XTB Laboratories, 2016.

Past Winner People’s Choice prize, Crop Enhancement, 2016.

The winners for both the “Ideas, energized” Prize and the People’s Choice Award will be announced at lunch on the last day of the Showcase.

ideas energized prize 2016