The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²), a technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has selected seven startups for its 12th cohort. These startups, dedicated to sustainable agriculture, aim to address climate change’s impact on global food systems.
“In an era of rising challenges in agriculture and the environment, we urgently require innovative, sustainable solutions. With an anticipated global population of 10 billion by 2050, we aim to develop methods that enhance productivity without harming our planet. IN² supports startups reshaping the future of food and farming,” remarked Trish Cozart, IN² program manager and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center director at NREL.
Each company will receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding for technical assistance and field trial projects to refine their technologies and business models. They will work alongside leading researchers at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri, the world’s largest independent plant science research institute.
“IN²’s twelfth cohort showcases some of the best startups in climate-aligned agriculture. These selected companies offer commercially viable technologies with massive potential to deliver environmental, economic, and societal benefits,” said Elliott Kellner, director of commercial innovation at the Danforth Center.
“As one of the leading agricultural production lenders in the U.S., Wells Fargo supports the scaling of clean technologies,” stated Robyn Luhning, Chief Sustainability Officer at Wells Fargo. “Through the Wells Fargo IN² program, these companies receive support to commercialize solutions for some of our customers’ most pressing challenges.”
The selected startups include HabiTerre, Impetus Ag, Impossible Sensing, InnerPlant, Mirai Solar, Running Tide, and Sentinel Fertigation. Each company offers innovative solutions ranging from remote sensing and AI for farm production systems, eco-friendly insect control platforms, sensor integration for soil management, advanced seed technology for stress indication, photovoltaic shade screen technology, integrated software and hardware systems for ocean health to remote sensing for precision nitrogen management.
IN²’s Channel Partner network, comprising over 60 business incubators, accelerators, and university programs nationwide, nominated these companies. They underwent an exhaustive review by Wells Fargo, NREL, the Danforth Center, and IN²’s expert industry advisory board.
With the addition of these seven companies, IN²’s portfolio now includes 72 companies, 26 of which are sustainable agriculture startups. To date, portfolio companies have raised over $1.8 billion in external follow-on funding—equivalent to an average of over $97 for every $1 awarded by Wells Fargo through IN².