Recognizing the critical role innovation plays in creating a safer and more sustainable food system, Cargill and Ecolab announced that they are supporting a second class of start-ups through the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator.
The accelerator engages both early-stage entrepreneurs and late-stage start-ups that are focused on advancing key aspects of the food system, including food security and safety, agricultural technology (ag tech), consumer goods and supply chain management. Start-ups receive mentor support from Cargill and Ecolab executives and access to the companies' market expertise, global connections and investment capital.
"Solving the greatest food and sustainability challenges the world faces today requires partnership and fresh, innovative ideas. These are the two key ingredients of the Techstars Farm to Fork program," Cargill chief information officer Justin Kershaw said. "Having the brightest minds in food and ag tech in Cargill and Ecolab's back yards provides an amazing opportunity to infuse start-up energy into our company while also helping bring critical solutions to scale. It's truly a win-win."
"While we're here to mentor these start-ups, we're also learning from their approach to problem solving and are excited to help bring their energy to the Twin Cities [Minn.] start-up community," added Katie Peterson, Ecolab marketing vice president and Techstars program lead. "Their passion and innovation, combined with the global scale and reach of Ecolab and Cargill, can help solve the challenges of safely feeding the world's population."
The 11 companies selected to participate in the 2019 Farm to Fork class include:
- Contain, Reno, Nev.
- Conversight, Indianapolis, Ind.
- EcoPlant, Tel Aviv, Israel.
- Food for All, Boston, Mass./New York, N.Y.
- Imago AI, Gurgaon, India.
- Magic AI, Seattle, Wash.
- Otrafy, Melbourne, Australia/Vancouver, B.C.
- Phood, Boston, Mass.
- PurPics, Austin, Texas.
- Trackter, Atlanta, Ga.
- Transparent Kitchen, Ottawa, Ont.
Techstars' network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and other partners also works hand in hand with the selected start-ups throughout the accelerator.
"Together, we are helping entrepreneurs build their business, secure capital, expand their reach and, ultimately, have a positive impact on the food industry and society," Techstars Farm to Fork accelerator managing director Brett Brohl said. "We're excited to build on last year's success, leveraging the expertise of Cargill and Ecolab, Techstars' proven accelerator model and the entrepreneurial energy of each of the start-up companies' founders."
Each company will present its projects at Demo Day on Oct. 15, 2019, during Twin Cities Start-up Week.
For more information on the Farm-to-Fork Accelerator, visit https://www.techstars.com/farm-to-fork-program.
With 154 years of experience with new technologies and insights, Cargill serves food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries.
Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, health care, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries.
Techstars is a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders and corporations to grow their companies. It operates three divisions: Techstars Start-up Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships.