Blog Stories of Success and Lessons of Support at the Agri-Food Tech Innovation Forum 

Collaboration and perseverance of support are key for agri-food tech startups to overcome hurdles of scaling and drive food systems impact.

Join the Agri-Food Tech Innovation Forum on Monday 15 November at the 2nd International Agrobiodiversity Congress: a trailblazing event where scientists, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists will convene to bring about a supportive ecosystem for innovation and collaboration and raise awareness of the need to support pioneering research. 

It’s been a “blow-out year” for investment in agri-food tech, according to Agfunder’s 2021 Report, with investment in Innovative Food startups doubling to $2.3bn in 2020. Ventures are ramping up efforts to innovate—and quickly—as pressures like the climate Code Red and Covid-19 spotlight the need for immediate advances in areas of digitization and regenerative agriculture. With this push for innovation comes a need for funding, and 3,260+ Venture Capital, 260+ Corporate and CVC, and 980+ Business Angel investors are heeding the call. 

However, even as the amount of capital and interest grow, a commercialization gap persists. Unique roadblocks in the path to scale hinder these startups from achieving impact: scientists must adopt an entrepreneurial mindset to transform their research advances into market-ready technologies, the goal to promulgate sustainability innovations complicates intellectual asset protection, and food systems impact takes longer to manifest, just to name a few. These challenges demand more consistent, patient, and collaborative support throughout the scaling process. 

The Innovation Forum, The Role of Venture Capital in Agricultural and Food Systems: Creating Opportunities and Scaling Up Science-Based Innovations,” will connect experts across perspectives to share lessons learned on the scaling of agri-food technologies and reach a common understanding of how to best cultivate tenacity in innovation processes and partnerships. 

Attendees can look forward to hearing from forum speakers who are leaders in their fields and forging a path ahead for other agri-food tech innovations. 

I am excited to participate at this important Innovation Forum on Agrobiodiversity,” says Dr. Bruno Basso, co-founder of CiBO Technologies and a premier expert on agro-ecosystems. 

“We must prioritize on nature’s contribution to society by intentionally shaping agricultural landscapes to build secure, resilient food systems that are environmentally sustainable over the long term.” 

With the support of venture capital group Flagship Pioneering (and among a portfolio of other highly successful ventures like Moderna), CiBO technologies has accelerated the transition to sustainable agriculture through innovations like AI and geospatial data. The innovation forum will provide a platform for Bruno to share insights of the experience bringing CiBO to scale. 

The investor perspective will also have a place on virtual stage, represented by speakers such as Alisee de Tonnac, Co-Founder of Seedstars group. Seedstars is paving the way for other VCs, exemplifying how collaborative accelerator programs can help startups overcome the hurdles of scaling, especially agri-food tech ventures with the capacity to affect real change. “As a venture capital firm, Seedstars is a strong believer and investor in Agri-Food Tech startups across the globe who are driving a positive impact to people and the environment,” Alisee explains. 

“It is these innovations that have the potential to shift the narrative of climate change and foster economic growth in emerging markets.” 

“The world faces challenges at the intersection of food security, climate change, biodiversity loss, and the potential collapse of ecosystems,” says Edward Perello, Associate Director for Agriculture at Deep Science Ventures.

“We cannot afford to wait for classical market forces and scientific processes to provide the solutions, but must instead actively craft them with venture building processes. I'm excited to join the conversation on making game changing companies that can align market needs with cutting edge science in a manner that customers really care enough about to adopt en masse. That’s our formula at DSV, and we’re looking forward to engaging with CGIAR to make this happen.” 

The forum is part of the Innovation Space, organized by the newly launched Alliance/CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP), a venture-focused R4D platform which bridges science and entrepreneurship. “The A4IP program has the ambition to fast-track technology transfer, connect demand and supply, and attract talented scientists to accelerate the sharing, scaling, and deployment of new impactful science-based innovations,” says senior officer Gianpiero Menza. 

“The A4IP will stimulate and finance the most visionary teams working on cutting-edge areas of research and exploring game-changing solutions.”  

Join these and other influential actors at the Innovation Forum to learn about these game-changing solutions and the need for tenacious support to overcome the complex challenges we are facing. 

For more details about the Innovation Forum, and to register for the 2nd International Agrobiodiversity Congress:

register here