Digital Farming and the Agtech Ecosystem

Silicon Valley Innovation Center

Silicon Valley Innovation Center

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About the course

What Is An Executive Immersion Program?

The agriculture industry is going through big changes as new technologies make their way into the sector. Thanks to advances in areas like sensors, drones and satellites, farmers are able to run their businesses with greater efficiency and agility than ever before. But the transformation across the food production sector has not been even, with farmers, technologists, and entrepreneurs still working to better understand each others’ needs and build the products that tackle agriculture-specific challenges in areas such as labor shortages, soil health and waste prevention.

Our immersion program will educate you in all of these trends, connect you with the companies pioneering groundbreaking solutions and inspire you to turn your own company into a leading innovator capable of long-term growth.

What Will I Learn?

Our immersion program is made up of sessions with companies operating at the forefront of major trends in the agtech space such as:

Big Data

Data is at the heart of the digital transformation of agriculture. Startups helping farmers collect all the data they need include TeleSense, end-to-end platform for remote temperature and humidity sensing for stored grains, Farmers Business Network, a peer-to-peer agronomic information database with nearly $200 million venture funding, and Airlitix, a precision AgTech company specializing in autonomous, indoor, drone technology for greenhouse management.

Drones

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, are proving to be a rich source of visual imagery and data for the agriculture industry. Early stage ventures in this space include TerrAvion as well as Ceres Imaging, an aerial spectral imagery and analytics company, and Blue River Technology, a pioneer in the use of computer vision and robotics for agriculture.

Robotics

Out in the fields, farmers’ pain points such as labor shortages are being addressed through greater use of robotics. A number of Silicon Valley startups are breaking ground in this vertical including: FarmBot, a farming machine and software package designed for small-scale precision food production; FarmWise, builders of smart, autonomous robots attacking the problem of weeds; and Abundant Robotics, where the team’s most recent invention is a robot to harvest apples.

Analytics

Platforms to help farmers make sense of their data abound. Leading startups include Granular, a cloud-based analytics engine, Mavrx, which uses imagery and data to provide agriculturalists with actionable insights, and Acopio, a provider of tools and services to collect, manage, and share data along the agricultural value chain.

Program Agenda

This Schedule Is Tentative And Features Past Speakers And Participating Companies.

Subject To Change Without Prior Notice

Day 1 THE WORLD OF AGTECH

What is agtech and where is it taking us? Why is it exploding now and what are the forces driving its expansion? These are the questions we answer on day 1 of our immersion program on The Future of Farming and AgriBusiness. We explain how startups have capitalized on demographic and labor market trends, new technologies and the ready availability of venture funding to create companies reimagining farming for the 21st century. We see these dynamics in practice with visits to companies such as Apeel Sciences, a startup utilizing advances in material science to combat food waste, Pivot Bio, a pioneer in crop nutrition, and Ceres Imaging, an aerial spectral imagery and analytics company. Other possible participating companies: Granular, IronOx, Full Harvest, Abundant Robotics, IronPlanet

Day 2 MARKET NICHES

No one agriculture startup has all the answers. That’s why on day two we explore the limits to the agtech space as they exist today. How many areas of agriculture are being disrupted? What is the nature of this change and how fast is it moving? We answer these questions through visits to startups operating in a wide range of niches. Possible meetings include: Afresh Technologies, a builder of supply chain solutions that use artificial intelligence to reduce fresh food waste; Aquabyte, developer of machine learning products for fish farms; and TerViva, a startup focused on sustainably producing vegetable oil and protein through the commercialization of pongamia trees. Other possible participating companies: Mavrx, WaterBit, Emeryville, Crop One, Slantrange

Day 3 THE ‘TECH’ IN AGTECH

Day three of the immersion program is dedicated to the technologies fueling the disruption of the agricultural sector. We hear from experts in artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, internet of things and drones to learn what these technologies can currently do and what they will offer in the future. We visit companies such as IntelinAIr, an aerial imagery analytics company, Wexus Technologies, the developers of IoT software for the global food supply chain, and InnerPlant, a synthetic biology startups making plants into living sensors. Other possible participating companies: Arcadia Biosciences, Plenty, Farmers Business Network, BovControl, Biome Makers

Day 4 CORPORATE INNOVATION FOR AGRICULTURE

Having seen and heard how digital is disrupting agriculture on days 1 to 3, on day 4 of our immersion program we challenge attendees to turn words into action. Participatory workshops with leading Silicon Valley experts on design thinking, design sprints, venture capital and open innovation provide executives with the blueprints and frameworks they need to execute on innovation within their own organization. We analyze how some of the world’s biggest agribusinesses are adapting to digital; we evaluate their interactions with the startup ecosystem and ask what can be learned from their attempts at innovation thus far. We visit some of the major tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and Oracle to see how they are already working with farmers and what plans they have to become more involved in the agtech space. Startup showcases offer participants the opportunity to gain first-hand experience at working with innovative entrepreneurs. Other possible participating companies: HarvestPort, Osmo Systems, PastureMap, Asilomar Bio, Boost Biomes, Andes

Day 5 THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE

What’s next for the digital disruption of farming and agribusiness? Day 5 brings the program to a close with its sights firmly set on the future. We learn about the trends set emerge in the coming years and meet the companies looking to capitalize on those trends today. Possible visits include: TerraNovo, an investment firm focused on the transition from industrial/chemical agriculture to regenerative/organic agriculture; Block Systems,a startup collecting agricultural data and enhancing it with high-definition labels for smart farming; and Ztractor, an autonomous electric tractor company. Will global food production rise fast enough to keep up with the world’s growing population? What will be the effects of changing climate conditions be on agriculture? We explore answers to these questions and look ahead to the areas of the agricultural industry next in line to be disrupted by emerging technologies. Other possible participating companies: Talad, ClearAg, OnePointOne, Cattle Care, Charm Industrial

Why Should I Join?

Inspiration

Meet the Silicon Valley innovators passionate about using the latest technologies to create new value. Learn the frameworks and methodologies of the experts and embrace innovation with confidence.

Long-term value

Apply newly learned innovation skills to your own company to ensure its survival and prosperity in times of technological disruption.

Connections

Turn motivation and knowledge into concrete actions with the business development opportunities that make an established business a world-class innovator.

Technology insights

See the disruptive power of the latest technologies and learn how they are being applied to solve humanity’s greatest challenges.

Education

Gain insight into the digital disruption of agriculture and see how startups are applying emerging technologies to transform the food production industry.

New perspectives

Challenge your thinking on what it means to run an enterprise in the 21st century. Make innovation part of your personal mission and commit to the future of your business.

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Digital Farming and the Agtech Ecosystem at Silicon Valley Innovation Center

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