Written by Jerry Underwood, MadeinAlabama.com
Five innovative start-up companies make up the inaugural class in the HudsonAlpha AgTech Investment Accelerator, a new initiative from the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and the global venture and accelerator firm gener8tor.
The 12-week accelerator invests $100,000 in five startups at the forefront of the agricultural technology industry.
The Huntsville-based accelerator seeks to bolster Alabama’s ability to translate agriculture technologies into commercial products that will help producers in the state and beyond.
“Agriculture innovation has been prevalent throughout Alabama’s history, dating back to George Washington Carver’s work in soil health and peanuts,” said Alex Cate, director of entrepreneurship programs for HudsonAlpha.
“We’re incredibly pleased to be able to support agriculture innovators as they look for new ways to feed our world.”
The startups selected for the AgTech accelerator come from Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Texas and Spain. They are:
- Shipshape, a Mobile-based firm that designs and manufactures modular, hydroponic farms that make fresh vegetables accessible in markets year-round.
- Frakktal, a Houston startup that is developing biopolymers from agricultural leftovers.
- MiFood Robot, a Madrid, Spain-based firm that automates harvesting and collecting food in farms using a robot, increasing efficiency and sustainability.
- MicroMGx, a Chicago-based startup that harnesses microbial chemistry to create more effective and sustainable products, including agricultural, pharmaceutical and animal
- AgTech Logic, a Mesa, Arizona-based firm that provides smart “RetroFIT &Go” technology that transforms existing spray equipment into an intelligent precision spraying platform, saving water and reducing the need for herbicides.
The AgTech accelerator provides meaningful engagement with the program team and access to resources from both HudsonAlpha and gener8tor.
Participants receive intensive and individualized coaching and access to gener8tor’s national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors.
The HudsonAlpha AgTech Investment Accelerator is supported by the Growing Alabama Credit program through the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“We’re committed to supporting innovation throughout Alabama’s economy, and the HudsonAlpha AgTech Investment Accelerator will be an important resource in helping us achieve that goal in this critically important sector,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
The accelerator will conclude on Dec. 15 with a showcase event at HudsonAlpha, highlighting the five startups. Founders will have the opportunity to pitch their companies to investors, community partners and the public.
“The HudsonAlpha gener8tor partnership has perhaps created the most fertile ground for the rapid growth of AgTech startups globally,” said Christopher Udall, managing director of the HudsonAlpha AgTech Investment Accelerator.
“I am thrilled to be a part of the founder’s journey in solving many of the most impactful challenges relating to world hunger, food scarcity, nutrition, crop yield, sustainability, deep space exploration and so much more.
Sponsors of the HudsonAlpha AgTech Accelerator include Breland Homes, Fuqua & Partners, Keel Point, Pearce Construction, Regions Bank, Synovus, as well as individual contributors.