Helping advance the critical role of digital innovation in agriculture and food safety, Cargill and Ecolab announced the latest class of entrepreneurs to join the Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator. The 2020 participants, the programme’s first ‘virtual’ class, will engage with mentors through an entirely digital experience due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digitisation across many sectors, including food and agriculture. Brett Brohl, MD, Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator, said, “The food system has changed more in the last six months than it has over the entire five years I have been investing in the space. The demands of the pandemic have shed light on the tremendous opportunity that exists in the food system for entrepreneurs, and we are excited about the opportunities in front of this year’s class.”
Justin Kershaw, CIO, Cargill, said, “Technology and digital innovation play a critical role in nourishing the world safely and responsibly. Through our partnership with Techstars and Ecolab, Cargill remains committed to helping foster breakthrough innovation to fundamentally transform the food supply chain from farm to fork.”
John Guttery, senior VP of enterprise initiatives, Ecolab, said, “The Techstars programme brings to life many of Ecolab’s key values, among them innovation to solve our world’s challenges. This latest class is an incredibly diverse group of people, and Ecolab is excited to engage these entrepreneurs in the twin cities community to uncover new technologies and ideas that will support a more sustainable, safe world.”
Now in its third year, the programme involves early stage entrepreneurs seeking to effect positive change across the food system, including food security and safety, ag tech and supply chain management.
Participants receive mentor support from Cargill and Ecolab executives and access to the companies’ market expertise and global connections. The Techstars network of successful entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and other partners also works with the selected startups throughout the accelerator programme.