Why This Year’s Ag Innovation Showcase Is A Big Deal For Startups And St. Louis

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The Ag Innovation Showcase, now in its seventh year, will take place Sept. 14-16 right here in St. Louis. Bringing together bright startups, established companies with new ideas and influential investors, the event is a way to highlight all that’s new and what change can be accelerated in the world of agriculture, especially as it relates to making the industry more productive and sustainable.

We’ve teamed up with BioSTL and The Yield Lab to offer you an even closer look at what the Ag Innovation Showcase has in store.

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1. International Appeal

Truly an international event, companies and investors from all over the world—from Canada to India to New Zealand—converge on St. Louis for three days to connect, learn and inspire each other through networking opportunities, content sessions and exhibits.

 

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2. Revolutionary Ideas

Nineteen companies from around the world—including three from St. Louis—will be presenting over three days in four different categories: precision agriculture (helping farmers maximize the growing season), farming innovations (solving big problems in traditional agriculture), biological solutions (using biotech innovations to improve food production) and renewables & sustainables (companies presenting systems or products with the environment in mind). With the aid of Showcase alumni, these companies’ ideas can be turned into practical solutions that can further improve the agriculture industry.

 

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3. Potential for Success

When you attend an event, you want to know there’s the potential to benefit, and here there is. Companies that have attended Ag Innovation Showcases in the past six years have gone on to raise $430 million and 83 percent of presenters reported that they found new investor leads.

 

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4. Hometown Advantage

St. Louis has already established itself as a hub for plant and agricultural science, so the event is really at home right here. From the Donald Danforth Science Center to the Bio-Research and Development Growth Park, where the event is hosted, to The Yield Lab accelerator, St. Louis serves as an inspiring and influential backdrop to these important conversations on innovation.

 

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5. Investments On The Rise

Investments in agriculture-related businesses have been climbing. In fact, AgFunder, an online investment platform, reports that investments in the first half of 2015 have already surpassed the total amount invested in 2014. The 2015 Ag Innovation Showcase plays an important role in showing off promising companies for investors looking to contribute to the agtech space in meaningful ways.

 

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6. Industries Coming Together

With companies like IBM, Mars, UC Davis, Monsanto and Boeing leading sessions, there’s incredible potential to find resources you never thought you’d need. A testament to the strength of these relationships, The Yield Lab is hosting a special content session with Boeing, discussing how to overcome the challenges in NextGen agriculture.

 

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7. Technology Ahead Of Its Time

While we’ve heard that driverless cars are the next big thing, they’re actually a decade and a half old for the ag industry: Farmers have been using driverless tractors for more than 15 years. To boot, the average mid-level farming equipment—not even the luxe version—has more technology onboard than the Apollo 11 spacecraft. Now that’ll change the way you think about agriculture.

This blog was created in collaboration with BioSTL, a member of the EQ Partner Network.