10 start-ups to go head-to-head at World Agri-Tech Pitch Day 2018

A total of 10 international start-ups have been selected to pitch their breakthrough agri-tech solutions to leading UK retailer Tesco, at its Agri T-Jam on October 15, 2018, as part of the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in London.

Chosen from over 100 international submissions, the winner will gain fast-track access to Tesco’s supply chain and mentoring from the Tesco Agriculture team.

The technologies on show will include novel fertilisers, non-chemical pesticides, digital solutions such as AI and robotics for precision farming and animal health, food quality monitoring and supply chain waste reduction.

Commenting on the entries, Emmanuelle Lerges, food technical director at Tesco, said: “The calibre of entries has been fantastic, addressing challenges and opportunities across our agri-supply chain.

“It was a challenging task for our committee to select just ten finalists. Together with our supply chain partners, we’re really excited to hear more from our finalists on how they can help us deliver affordable, sustainable and healthy food for all our customers.”

The 10 finalists are: Agrotech USA (USA), ArqAqua (Spain), Azotic Technologies (Switzerland), eggXYt (Israel), Fixed Phage (UK), Fungi Alert (UK), Impact Vision (UK), Soil Steam International (Norway), Thrive Multi Visual (Netherlands) and ZELP (UK).

The 10 finalists

  • AgroTech USA solutions improve the efficiency of phosphate fertilisers and reduce ammonia from livestock manure, to reduce their environmental footprint and protect nutrients in the field.
  • ArqAqua’s patented ‘zero chemical residue’ ozone dispersion technology sanitises produce types. Including citrus, avocado, tomatoes, chicken and fish against pathogens and decay-causing microorganisms.
  • Azotic Technologies’ natural nitrogen-fixing technology provides a sustainable solution to fertiliser overuse and nitrogen pollution. It contains no toxins, is environmentally friendly and applies to all major crops.
  • eggXYt’s CRISPR-based technology allows non-invasive pre-incubation sex detection in chicken eggs, avoiding hatch and disposal of seven billion male chicks each year. As well as saving the industry billions of dollars, it also adds seven billion ethically-sourced eggs to the global supply.
  • Fixed Phage’s antibacterial technology targets problem bacteria throughout the food production chain. It can attach bacteriophages to almost any substrate, with commercial applications from improving agricultural yields to shelf-life extension and reducing food-poisoning bacteria.
  • Fungi Alert samples microorganisms within a field, facilitating cheap and fast soil-health analysis and early detection of disease. It enables strategic agronomy decisions including tailored crop protection strategies and the best harvest and storage time.
  • Impact Vision is a machine-learning company that applies advanced imaging technology to food supply chains, providing insights about food quality including shelf-life, dry matter content or foreign objects.
  • Soil Steam International has developed a unique machine that removes almost 100% of all weed, seeds fungus and harmful pathogens in the soil, using steam. It’s a gamechanger in modern berry and vegetable production, resulting in greater production of healthier food for longer storage.
  • Thrive Multi Visual uses livestock monitoring to improve transparency within the chicken supply chain, highly dependent on bird welfare and performance. Using cameras, sensors and AI, it provides real-time monitoring, metrics and insights for farmers, processors and retailers.
  • ZELP tackles agriculture’s biggest contribution to global warming: livestock methane exhalations. Its smart nose-ring for cattle neutralizes exhaled methane. A blockchain-based traceability platform enables ZELP-certified beef and dairy to be marketed at a higher price-point.

The 10 start-up companies will present their technologies to the panel of judges led by Tesco’s Agri-Food team: Emmanelle Lerges (Food Technical Director) and Barney Kay (Head of Agriculture), with supply chain partners Vee Gururajan (Branston), Ian Tremain (Bridgwater College) and Ash Gilman (Cranswick).

Each finalist will have seven minutes to pitch their company to the judging panel and a room full of Tesco staff and supply chain partners, agribusinesses and VC investors. The judging panel will announce the winner on the same day, who will be fast-tracked to introductions with Tesco’s supply chain partners, and benefit from mentoring from the Tesco Agriculture team.

The winner will also present their pitch again as part of the start-up Technology Showcase on Day 1 of the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, to its audience of 400 international agribusiness leaders and investors.