Innovations in the food world often start with technology

The Lempert Report
January 15, 2015

The Silicon Valley AgTech Incubator

From agriculture to production, innovations in the food world often start with technology, and where better to find a mass of these innovative ideas, than in the epicenter of entrepreneurs and tech startups; Silicon Valley! It’s here, that a new technology business incubator is about to be launched with the goal of providing technology start-ups focused on agriculture and food production, with skills and significant exposure to industry and investors.  We spoke with the Founder of the AgTech Incubator, Roger Royse:

Roger Royse  - Royse Law Firm Founder: We've launched here this month an incubator for start ups that are developing technology focused on the agriculture and food space. The idea is to bring Silicon Valley style innovation to the ag and food industry. It's basically an  offshoot of a group I started a few years ago called Silicon Valley AgTech and we've conducted meetings we've done conferences, papers, presentations, it seemed the next logical step after seeing how much interest there was in technology companies focused on the AG industry, it seemed like the next logical step was to incubate a few companies right here in our offices and see if we could come up with the next big thing in Ag tech.  We're looking for really disruptive game changing technologies. 

In addition to the events, conferences, seminars, we're doing meetings and webcasts of pitches and demos both to the investor community and wider community that has an interest, as well as to our industry partners, meaning the growers and the shippers and the food companies. 

And the companies that come into our program are going to have the opportunity to pitch to those strategic partners, licensees and acquirers. 

PHIL:  With Silicon Valley bustling with tech startups, there was no doubt for AgTech why this incubator program had to focus on those who were interested in Agriculture and Farming. 

It's important for a lot of reasons, the first is really a social reason. By the year 2050, we're expected to have 9 billion people on this planet, and as far as I know they're not making any more land, so we're going to have to be able to feed those people with less resources, and that means increased production increase efficiency, and that's a technology problem. there are technologies out there that can  increase efficiency and reduce costs. Secondly there's a real sustainability issue here that has to be addressed and that has to do with reducing our carbon footprint, and improve our agriculture industry. We can solve this problem with a lot of technologies that I've seen. But most important the tech people need to have a way of bringing their innovative ideas, that have been applied in a lot of different industries already, to the agricultural industry. We want to give them that platform and that opportunity to get the new innovative technologies into ag. 

Agriculture and farming were the original innovators and we're bringing innovation back to the farm, Silicon valley Agtech is where technology meets the farm.