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Canadian ag and foodtech innovators participate in pitch competition to win $1M in funding


September 12, 2019
By Stephanie Gordon


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October 1 and 2 marks the first-ever Nutrien Radicle Challenge Canada, a two day pitch competition for ag and food technology innovation where a $1 million USD investment will be made in the winning idea.

Global leaders in agriculture solving agriculture and food challenges with technology solutions, investors and a panel of judges will come together at the Alt Hotel in Saskatoon for the competition.

The competition will identify and invest in Canadian entrepreneurs that are solving ag and food challenges with technology at both the growth-stage (companies that have already raised $3 million USD in prior investment) and seed-stage level (ventures that are starting up, including those participating in incubator programs).

A $1 million USD investment will be made in a growth-stage competition winner and another $250,000 USD investment in the the seed-stage competition winner.

In addition to the capital infusion, the winners will have access to the Radicle and Nutrien platforms to accelerate development of their technologies. Radicle Growth is a San Diego-based acceleration fund that selects agtech and food tech startups for investment and Nutrien is the one of the largest providers of crop inputs and services.

Agricultural companies across Canada have been submitting proposals for funding with applications closing on June 28, 2019. A short-list of finalists is expected to be announced by the end of this week in mid-September. From there, each finalist will present to a panel of judges and industry leaders, and the winners will be announced at 2 p.m. on Oct. 2, 2019.

The panel of judges is made up of various representatives from the agriculture and technology industries, such as Chuck Magro, chief executive officer of Nutrien; Mark Thompson, chief corporate development and strategy from Nutrien; Neil Gutterson, chief technology officer with Corteva Agriscience; Claudia Roessler, director of agriculture with Microsoft; Steven Hansen, managing director of Raymond James; and Kirk Haney, managing partner of Radicle Growth.

Leaf Agriculture, the winner of the Radicle’s last Challenge (the Global Pre-Seed Challenge), was selected for a $250,000 USD investment for their API product that facilitates fast, easy and secure data transfer between agtech platform partners, solving what had been a technical challenge in the agtech sector. This capital infusion is one that many seed-stage companies in traditional accelerator programs don’t have access to and was what allowed Leaf to continue expansion into North America.