OCP Group and the Larta Institute are pleased to announce the seven finalists for the first OCP Innovation Challenge, powered by Larta.
The OCP Innovation Challenge (“the Challenge”) is designed to solicit solutions from early-stage food and ag companies focused on data-driven methods for use by farmers. OCP, the world’s largest phosphate company, has increasingly sought to facilitate the infusion of technology ideas in a changing agricultural sector from across the ‘ecosystem’ of innovators that will benefit end-users (farmers and their support networks). The Challenge provides a cash prize and a 10-week intensive period of coaching and guidance, culminating in a “Demo Day” in April 2020 in SF or NY.
100+ startups applied to the Challenge, introducing innovative solutions using sensors, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, Internet of Things (IoT and wearables) and more. Seven (7) companies were selected to go through the program.
“We are impressed by the caliber of startups that applied to the Challenge,” says Marouane Ameziane, OCP’s Executive Vice President for Strategy and Corporate Development. “It is clear that the community of AgTech innovators is strengthening, and we are excited to engage with them, share expertise and help grow their businesses.”
Finalists will now join a 10-week custom-built program designed by Larta that will include coaching and guidance from a Larta’s domain experts drawn from Larta and OCP, focused on commercialization strategy along with OCP’s product development and deployment experts. The program will culminate at a Demo Day in April, where selected participants will present to invited executives and investors. Participants will also be invited to attend the long-lived 2020 Ag Innovation Showcase in Minneapolis, MN in September, and will be given the opportunity to apply to present at that global event.
“While there is increasing demand for efficiency in a time of resource constraints, consumer pressure and climatic variability, we are delighted with the breed of innovations attracted by the Challenge,” says Rohit Shukla CEO of Larta Institute. “We are grateful to OCP for providing a platform for these global innovators. Larta’s partnership with OCP is focused on supporting entrepreneurs, providing market and industry insights and help to deploy these innovations across continents. We applaud OCP’s vision and are delighted to partner with them to to make agriculture and food production more effective, more efficient and more transparent,” Shukla adds.
THE FINALISTS ARE:
Aspiring Universe Co. – Geospatial intelligence solutions for assessing farmland sustainability metrics and productivity/financial risk, for all farmland on the planet.
Better Earth Agronomy– Helping farmers take control of their farm soil fertility by unlocking insights about their soil microbes, with a simple mail-in soil diagnostic kit.
Cloud Agronomics – Effective and scalable method to monitor crop performance and carbon topsoil content through novel data-driven and spectroscopic analysis methodologies, allowing Cloud Agronomics to enable a global countermeasure to climate change.
AgriScan (AKA MASciR) – develops and manufactures a new sensing portable equipment offering a unique test on the field for farmers, the system is based on the cutting edge technology with integrated artificial intelligence and connected to a network for data storage and analysis.
CropProphet – Weather, machine learning-based crop yield/production forecasting for risk management
Satyukt Analytics – Data and analytics services for agriculture, water resources and crop insurance sectors.
UM6P AgriEdge – Agricultural decision-support platform that offers to farmers relevant insights regarding their actions in the field and connects them to agricultural inputs and crop markets, free of charges.
About the OCP Innovation Challenge
New technologies, societal demands, and global regulations are converging to drive the agricultural industry toward using more data – real-time and sub-farm level – for informed decision-making. Farmers, large and small, are also building innovative data collection and analysis capabilities and leverage the latest data technologies to enable precision agriculture. This is especially true for soil and plant nutrition, where digital capabilities support more sustainable practices by improving product and quantity decisions, plant nutrient delivery, and farm productivity and yield. The OCP Challenge was designed to capitalize on the increase in innovation in the field, and to provide a platform for more effective deployment to customers and end-users through a leading agricultural inputs company.
Larta Institute is a mission-driven innovation accelerator that works with innovators across the world to introduce novel ideas in agriculture, energy, and healthcare. Since 1993, Larta Institute has helped more than 10,000 companies transform their ideas into commercialized innovations that feed, fuel and heal the world. With a global network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, industry leaders, research institutions, government agencies and support organizations, Larta conducts award-winning commercialization assistance programs throughout the U.S. and in more than 20 countries using a virtual, “network-centric” model.
About OCP Group and OCP North America
OCP S.A. (and its subsidiaries worldwide, collectively referred to as the “OCP Group”) is a major player specialized in the mining, refining, processing, manufacturing, commercialization, marketing and development of phosphate rock, phosphoric acid, and fertilizers. The Group is a global leader in soil fertility and committed to innovation and providing farmer-centric solutions for and with farmers.
OCP North America supports and advances this mission by engaging the North American research and agtech ecosystem in the full innovation value chain: including idea generation, testing and incubation, acceleration, and venture funding.