The Yield Lab, the nation’s largest agriculture technology business accelerator, announced its first five participating companies, which will begin the program this week in St. Louis. The companies were selected from a pool of more than a hundred applicants from around the world and reflect the Yield Lab’s mission to promote solutions for a healthier, more sustainable future globally.
The Yield Lab runs a nine-month program that supports emerging AgTech companies with up to $100,000 in funding, an Agriculture (Ag) specific curriculum, one-on-one mentorship, free workspace, and networking opportunities. The Yield Lab is supported by a solid framework of agriculturally focused individuals, organizations, and businesses in the St. Louis area. Agriculture is a leading industry in the greater St. Louis area, providing over 20% of the area’s employment and generating $75 billion in global economic value.
“We believe that finding a solution to sustainably feed the world is one of the biggest problems facing the world today. We have to get creative to solve this problem—and we believe innovation and entrepreneurship are the ways to do it,” said Managing Director Thad Simons. “There is no better place than St. Louis to stimulate entrepreneurship in agricultural technology and development. The Yield Lab, our investors, mentors, advisers, and entrepreneurs are a start on this journey.”
The Yield Lab’s first cohort includes:
– Arvegenix – Arvegenix is developing Pennycress, an annual energy crop grown over winter when land is idle, giving farmers another revenue crop. Pennycress, an oilseed crop, produces oil for biofuels and press-cake that is used as livestock feed. Pennycress is a non-food crop.
– AGERpoint – AGERpoint provides comprehensive GIS-based asset inventory, data and precision agriculture solutions to growers of tree, vine, and bush-based crops. AGERpoint distills data from laser and other optical scanning equipment into actionable information for permanent crop farmers from planting to harvest.
– Holganix – Holganix is a 100% natural bio-nutritional product that promotes strong plant health and sustainable soils while reducing the need for traditional fertilizers and pesticides.
– TerViva – TerViva is commercializing a perennial tree grown on underproductive agricultural land called Pongamia. Pongamia produces an annual harvest of pods, which can be crushed to produce animal feed and oil used for biofuels.
– Solapa4 – Solapa4 is a data gathering and analytics company that can predict the agricultural performance of land. Their products show the productivity of a farm for risk management, agribusiness, and farming decisions.