- FarmSense and PheroSyn were announced as the 2023 Radicle Inclusion Challenge winners, each receiving a $750,000 investment.
- The challenge aims to support startups owned and/or operated by underrepresented groups in agriculture.
- FarmSense’s FlightSensor™ technology offers real-time insect monitoring, while PheroSyn focuses on sustainable “green chemistry” for pest control.
- The competition was part of the 12th annual Women in Agribusiness Summit and attracted nearly 200 entrepreneurs from 40 countries.
- Both winning startups will benefit from collaboration with Radicle Growth and Nutrien senior executives.
FarmSense and PheroSyn emerged as the winners of the 2023 Radicle Inclusion Challenge Presented by Nutrien. The announcement was made at Nashville, Tennessee’s 12th annual Women in Agribusiness Summit. Each startup will receive a $750,000 investment and collaborate with Radicle Growth and Nutrien to accelerate their growth.
About the Winners
FarmSense, led by CEO Dr. Leslie Hickle, focuses on simplifying pest management for farmers. The company’s patented FlightSensor™ technology provides real-time insect counts and classifications, enabling farmers to make immediate crop and pest control decisions.
PheroSyn, led by CEO Mary Ellis, employs sustainable “green chemistry” to produce complex, structured, high-value insect pheromones. These are formulated and sold to distributors for monitoring crop pests in agriculture and horticulture.
The Challenge and Its Impact
The Radicle Inclusion Challenge aims to support startups owned and/or operated by women and/or Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in agriculture. This initiative is crucial as these underrepresented groups currently receive less than three percent of U.S. venture capital.
Kirk Haney, managing partner at Radicle Growth, emphasized the challenge’s role in driving awareness of critical issues in food production and funding technologies essential for environmental and societal change.
Industry Support and Future Outlook
Nutrien, the world’s largest crop inputs and services provider, partnered with Radicle Growth for this competition. Noralee Bradley, Nutrien’s EVP of external affairs and chief sustainability & legal officer expressed excitement about supporting startups that advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in agriculture.
Both FarmSense and PheroSyn will now have access to global networks and mentorship through Radicle and Nutrien, which will help them bring their innovative solutions to the global marketplace.
Image provided by Women in AgriBusiness