Techstars Farm to Fork, the Twin Cities newest accelerator, debuted the inaugural crop of nine startups in its agriculture-technology program on Monday.
Farm to Fork startups are developing digital products for the food and agriculture markets. The companies in this first accelerator are working to solve problems such as food safety, supply chain management and restaurant efficiency.
Ecolab and Minnetonka-based agribusiness giant Cargill announced late last year that they would partner with Techstars to create the new startup accelerator. Each of the nine startups participating in the accelerator will have access to more than 100 mentors, Techstars said in a release, including business leaders and experts from Cargill, Ecolab and local agriculture entrepreneurs. The startups will also receive seed capital from the program.
Farm to Fork is housed in downtown St. Paul’s Osborn370 building. Osborn370 is owned by a group of investors pushing to make the 20-story former Ecolab HQ a destination for tech companies. In addition to Farm to Fork, Osborn370 is home to startup incubator Lunar Startups, which will kick off its first class toward the end of the summer.
Farm to Fork is Techstars’ second major accelerator in the Twin Cities. In 2016, Techstars launched a retail accelerator in partnership with Target. Now in its third year, the Target + Techstars accelerator is expected to announce the companies in its 2018 class later this month.
Farm to Fork is headed by Brett Brohl, who previously served as entrepreneur in residence for the Target + Techstars retail accelerator. Brohl is also the founder and managing director of The Syndicate Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund that launched earlier this year.
Here are all the companies in Techstars’ inaugural Farm to Fork class:
- Headquarters: Texas and Minnesota
- Description: Big Wheelbarrow makes it easy for companies to buy from local farms using artificial intelligence.
- Headquarters: India
- Description: Dishq leverages food science and artificial intelligence to predict people’s taste. Dishq helps the industry through menu and product development as well as recommendations and insights on trends.
- Headquarters: Canada
- Description: EIO improves the lives of dairy farmers by early detection of illnesses in their animals. The startup was named one of Forbes’ most innovative ag-tech startups of 2018.
- Headquarters: Salinas, California and Brazil
- Description: HeavyConnect allows farms to eliminate paper bottlenecks, from food safety compliance to hourly time keeping.
- Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
- Description: Pepr increases restaurant profitability using data intelligence and automation.
Induction Food Systems
- Headquarters: Durham, North Carolina
- Description: IFS‘ industrial heating technology helps food and beverage manufacturers improve efficiency and expand production with on-demand precision heating equipment.
- Headquarters: Oakland, California
- Description: Renewal Mill is building a more sustainable food system by harvesting byproducts from food manufacturing and upcycling them into high-quality ingredients.
- Headquarters: California and Kansas City
- Description: TradeLanes is a global trade market network that connects all trade participants into a single document chain over the lifecycle of an international trade shipment.
- Headquarters: Brazil
- Description: Travie enables affordable farming loans and profitable investment portfolios through a data-driven credit risk assessment algorithm.