September 14, 2020
Cargill, Ecolab help advance digital innovation across agriculture with accelerator class
Cargill and Ecolab has announced the latest class of entrepreneurs to join the Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator which will help advance the critical role of digital innovation in agriculture and food safety.
The 2020 participants, the programme's first 'virtual' class, will engage with mentors through an entirely digital experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digitisation across many sectors, including food and agriculture, said Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator managing director Brett Brohl. "The food system has changed more in the last six months than it has over the entire five years I have been investing in the space," said Brohl. "The demands of the pandemic have shed light on the tremendous opportunity that exists in the food system for entrepreneurs, and we are excited about the opportunities in front of this year's class."
"Technology and digital innovation play a critical role in nourishing the world safely and responsibly," said Justin Kershaw, CIO of Cargill. "Through our partnership with Techstars and Ecolab, Cargill remains committed to helping foster breakthrough innovation to fundamentally transform the food supply chain from farm to fork."
"The Techstars programme brings to life many of Ecolab's key values, among them innovation to solve our world's challenges," said John Guttery, senior vice president of enterprise initiatives for Ecolab. "This latest class is an incredibly diverse group of people, and Ecolab is excited to engage these entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities community to uncover new technologies and ideas that will support a more sustainable, safe world."
Now in its third year, the Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator involves early stage entrepreneurs seeking to effect positive change across the food system, including food security and safety, agriculture tech and supply chain management.
Participants receive mentor support from Cargill and Ecolab executives and access to the companies' market expertise and global connections. The Techstars network of successful entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and other partners also work with the selected startups throughout the accelerator programme.
Comprising of 11 start-ups, the 2020 accelerator class roster brings a diverse and global perspective to some of the food and agriculture industry's biggest challenges, focused on a wide range of solutions ranging from robotics and AI to food and water quality. Each company will present its project at a virtual Demo Day on December 3, 2020.