Three startups take top prizes at Indoor Ag-Con Asia pitch competition

Indoor agriculture startups Biteback, Farmers Cut and Growers Agritech won top honors at the Indoor Ag-Ignite competition finals held during Indoor Ag-Con Asia, January 15-16, 2019 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Designed to support entrepreneurs and find the most innovative new ideas globally in the fast-growing indoor agriculture industry, the competition was co-hosted by Indoor Ag-Con and its lead sponsor, Enterprise Singapore.

Enterprise Singapore awarded a Startup SG Grant of S$50,000 to each winning team, including: (1) S$25,000 non-dilutive cash grant which can be utilized to accelerate commercialization efforts; (2) a further S$25,000 which can be converted into equity shares at the next round of fundraising. 

Each winning team will also receive substrates and technical advice from Indoor Ag-Con Asia sponsor and exhibitor, Smithers-Oasis. The company's global expertise of the plant and flower business stretches from propagation to presentation -- offering Indoor Ag-Ignite winners the chance to tap into a wealth of industry insight and knowledge.

Pictured (L-R) - Indoor Ag-Ignite Judges Sarai Kemp, Trendlines Agtech; Michael Dean, AgFunder; Isabelle Decitre, ID Capital; Indoor Ag-Ignite Winners Mark  Korzilius, Farmers Cut; Ser Yong Quek, Grower Agritech; Daniel Reigler, Biteback; and Edwin Chow, Enterprise Singapore

“New technologies and approaches are transforming indoor agriculture at a rapid clip and we want to do everything we can to help emerging entrepreneurs bring their ideas to market,” said Indoor Ag-Con Founder Nicola Kerslake. “This was our 2nd annual competition and we were especially pleased to see how interest has grown as evidenced by the number of entrants. Most important, we were thrilled to partner once again with Enterprise Singapore to unearth each of these incredibly promising startups."

“The agility and high-risk appetite of agri-food tech startups put them in the driver’s seat of disruptive technologies. Indoor Ag-Con Asia is a great place for these companies to connect with global agriculture experts, researchers and investors – for knowledge exchange and co-innovation opportunities. Enterprise Singapore is pleased to continue our support for Indoor Ag-Con Asia and Indoor Ag-Ignite in building a network of like-minded entrepreneurs who aspire to transform Asia’s agriculture landscape,” added Ms. Kee Ai Nah, Executive Director of Lifestyle & Consumer Cluster, Enterprise Singapore.

The Indoor Ag-Ignite competition was open to any team or company of under 40 employees developing or deploying innovative technologies for the indoor agriculture industry. Applicants were able to make their pitches via video chat for the initial round of the competition. Five finalists -- AlgaHealth, Biteback, Farmers Cut GmbH, Grower Agritech LLP, Growflux -- received stipends towards travel to Singapore to participate in the finals. The judging panel included Michael Dean, AgFunder; Isabelle Decitre, ID Capital; Sarai Kemp, Trendlines Agtech and Edwin Chow, Enterprise Singapore.

Indoor Ag-Ignite 2019 Competition winners are:

  • BITEBACK -- Biteback is an Insect Bio-refinery company aiming to meet an increasing global demand for palm oil by creating a healthier and more sustainable alternative with 40 times more yield per ha. Biteback has developed a processing technology that allows extraction of more than 90% of fats from insect body mass which is refined into various functional ingredient like cooking oil, butter, fatty alcohol, and bioenergy. 
  • FARMERS CUT GMBH -- Farmers Cut has started tackling the challenge of year round local food production by designing a sustainable system impervious to outdoor environmental conditions resulting in pesticide free, nutrient rich greens. The Farmers Cut vision is to provide local, healthy, fresh, pesticide-free produce to the urban population all year round
  • GROWER AGRITECH LLP – Specializing in the cultivation of high-value crops, Grower Agritech is a Singapore incorporated company with its management, agritech science team and executives from Singapore and Thailand. The company’s flagship project – Truffle Vertical Farm (TVF) – is a revolutionary technology to cultivate in-vitro, truffles species, indoors.

Indoor Ag-Con returns to Las Vegas from May 22-23, 2019 for its 7th Annual Indoor Ag-Con. which will be held at the Red Rock Resort & Conference Center.

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