Innovation and Success in the Illinois AgTech Accelerator

Category : Research Park
Posted on: June 16, 2022

SoyInnovator profiled the current Illinois AgTech Accelerator startup cohort in its recent article, “5 AgTech Startups You Should Know.” The article highlights the various benefits that the Accelerator manages to provide for AgTech startups.

The Accelerator is a 12-week program that recruits five AgTech companies and gives them numerous opportunities to network with customers, investors, mentors, and other established AgTech companies. The Accelerator manages to give these companies a learning experience that will help them to be more successful in the future.

Mentorship is one of the most important aspects of the Accelerator, which is based at the University of Illinois Research Park.

“Mentorship is a major ‘unfair advantage’ for the companies that go through our program because they can discuss their technologies and business models with a range of ag professionals to really sharpen their market fit,” says Managing Director Jack Marck.

The article also mentions five up-and-coming AgTech companies that are breaking barriers in the industry:

  • AQUAOSO is a climate finance technology company that uses software to provide analytics for loan processes, improve risk management functions, and easily report on climate-related risks.
  • Greener Crop is a data-driven hydroponic farm management company that helps clients to set up their farms efficiently. The company also helps clients plan daily farm operation strategies, supplies them with equipment, and develops effective crop strategies for higher success rates.
  • Kray Technologies is a company that develops and produces drones for crop protection.  This reduces application costs by 90% in comparison to existing solutions.
  • SenseGrass is a soil intelligence company. It uses soil sensors to deliver soil health analyses that help with nutrient management. This helps to reduce synthetic fertilizer use, increase crop health and grow crops using sustainable methods.
  • Shepherd is a company that is tackling the agricultural labor shortage. The company uses a task management-based approach to ensure that workers know their responsibilities and the most efficient way to perform. This helps to reduce waste and boost operational effectiveness.

This spring’s accelerator program is hybrid. Most of the teams have spent some time on-site in Champaign-Urbana; all will be in town for the OnRamp Agriculture Conference in Champaign, July 25-26.

To learn more about the Illinois AgTech Accelerator and about startups that could hold the next greatest ideas in the agricultural industry, read here.

SoyInnovator is an online resource published by the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA).