AgTech venture capital firm Finistere Ventures, Cloud Break Advisors and an alliance of top Ag industry leaders have officially launched Radicle, an accelerator fund dedicated to growing early stage agricultural technology startups into proven industry leaders, and aims to reduce the time to develop, market and commercialize new Ag technologies.
Radicle’s founding members include Bayer, DuPont and OurCrowd, a leading Israeli venture capital firm. These leaders will share their perspective on the future of AgTech, and present their vision for the accelerator fund during various industry panels held at AgTech Week 2016.
“Turning brilliant ideas into viable farming industry businesses requires an intricate combination of industry experience, academic resources, in-field validation opportunities and a diverse collection of agricultural partners and investment advisors,” said Kirk Haney, CEO of Cloud Break Advisors. “Our entrepreneurial roots, deep-rooted Ag network, and proven ability to successfully select and develop game-changing Ag companies ensures we can help AgTech innovators reach their full potential. By better understanding and managing the global AgTech opportunity, we provide a fertile environment for AgTech visionaries to not just grow, but to flourish.”
Radicle offers a specialized platform to incubate high-quality AgTech companies that can solve global farming problems, and focuses on the areas where growers face the greatest challenges to productivity, sustainability and quality in food and agriculture, like genomics and plant sciences, seed tech, biologicals for crop protection and regulation, digital Ag, and disruptive or novel farm systems.
“DuPont Pioneer continually scouts the innovation frontier for novel ways to improve agricultural productivity and seeks to collaborate with those on the cutting edge of science, even at the earliest stages of technology development,” said Neal Gutterson, vice president, Research & Development, DuPont Pioneer. “Radicle’s virtual accelerator operating model and investing approach is expected to help Pioneer achieve these objectives.”
The Radicle accelerator fund will provide expert advisory services and strategic mentorship from a wide network of Ag experts and proven entrepreneurs, offers access to key leaders and corporate relationships across a range of Ag focus areas connections with top academic institutions across the world, fosters strong industry collaboration with leaders in agribusiness.
The accelerator fund will also offer follow-on financing round options from the founding investors and their networks once companies ”graduate” from the accelerator and a service platform with an intense focus on value creation initiatives and exit planning guidance from the start.
“Investing in the Radicle accelerator fits perfectly with Bayer’s global investment strategy,” added Geoff Kneen, R&D Licensing & New Ventures Manager for North America, Bayer. “It complements our VC partnership with Finistere, which can support earlier stage ventures in the United States with a global pipeline. The deep AgTech knowledge and experience of the management team and investor partners will be able to provide strong guidance to the start-up companies.”