Sep. 9, 2016
Multinational BASF and the accelerator ACE announced the launch of AgroStart – a program that aims to develop and promote startups that are focused on solutions for the farming industry. According to the promoters, the initiative will provide assistance with all procedures that start-ups are required to perform, and will validate and scale businesses in the agricultural market for a period of up to six months.
Companies from throughout Latin America offering solutions that help agricultural chains are invited to participate in AgroStart. The focus will be in five areas: crop management, field automation, stock management, precision agriculture and traceability. The goal of AgroStart is to ease the use of platforms, such as Big Data, Internet of Things and applied mobility, within the rural sector.
“In open innovation we see a solution, as we seek answers to the present challenges in the field, and we understand that the procedure of co-creation is one of rich sources to differentiate companies. Therefore, we gather the expertise of two leaders in innovation to foster start-up development, introducing proposals to use technology in agriculture,” noted Fábio Del Cistia, vice-president of marketing at BASF for Crop Protection in Latin America.
At the end of this edition of AgroStart, three start-ups received financial assistance to develop their projects, along with methodological support, expertise, contacts through a network of mentors and partners of ACE – a company that has hastened the development of over 70 startups since 2012. Also, BASF uses its know-how and specialized professionals in diverse areas of the farm business, besides providing market access in Latin America and a culture of open innovation.
“The farm business is one of the segments that we believe will be most impacted by the start-up revolution. The AgroStart program will offer the best technologies and ACE will provide the knowledge and role of one of the major companies in the world. Our long-term vision has the goal of putting Latin America on the global map of innovation,” comments Pedro Waengertner, CEO and founder of ACE.
“An acceleration program of startups that aims to bring innovative solutions for the farm business requires monitoring, management and mentoring, so Baf and ACE will participate in all project stages. Those who join AgroStart will offer the agricultural chain an innovative technology solution that would change management in the field, bring benefits for those who use the tools, as well as for agents that develop the solutions,” stresses Fábio Del Cistia.
At the end of the AgroStart program, BASF will evaluate investment opportunities in successful projects through its BASF Venture Capital fund. The entrepreneur will also have the possibility of establishing partnerships with BASF, in exchange for funding, purchase or distribution of products or services, as well as expanding its business into over 20 countries.