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Awarded Startups at Pitch Competition

AgLaunch hosted its inaugural Startup Station at The Mid-South Farm & Gin Show on March 3, 2017. The “Shark Tank”-like event featured 15 agtech entrepreneurs who pitched their ideas for innovative ag products to an audience of farmers and investors before receiving questions and feedback from a diverse and highly qualified group of panelists (see below for a complete list of panelists and startups).

Startups came from across the country, while one team, KSF LLC., made the trip from England. Pitching startups joined from a variety of sectors, working with everything from drone imagery, 3-D printing, food safety, animal health, crop scouting, new implements, electric equipment, and produce preservation to name a few.

Two teams walked away with prize money based on panelist rankings. Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton announced the winners of the pitch competition:

  • First place, with an award of $1,000, went to Matthew Rooda of SwineTech, a technology that monitors sows in farrowing facilities to ensure they do not crush their piglets.
  • Second place, with an award of $500, went to Shawn Butler of Farm Specific Technologies, a Flex Roller Crimper that allows for a mechanical way of cover crop termination.

AgLaunch now prepares for the AgLaunch Accelerator, an intensive 3-month program where accepted teams refine their product, go-to-market strategy, and pitch. Stay tuned to hear updates on teams that have been selected for this program.

Follow AgLaunch for announcements and updates about the AgLaunch Accelerator and other AgLaunch programs, as well as information about how you can get involved.


Pictured Above: Nathan Bailey, Waterbug Irrigation; Gabrielle Martinez, Caroline Salley, and Audrey Jarvis, Sweet Prints; Jai Templeton, Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture; Matthew Rooda, SwineTech; Bruce Rasa, AgVoice; Bryan Tomm, Stable’N; Jason Force, Iron Goat; Keisuke Kishi, KSF, LLC. Not Pictured: Jacques Grislain, Cambridge Crops; Peter Larbi, Arkansas State University; Shawn Butler, Farm Specific Technologies; Kraig Schulz, Autonomous Tractor Corporation; Bryan Tomm, Stable’N; Brendan Carroll, Skycision; Chris Ramezanpour, Secure Food Solutions; Brandon Finch, Smart Farm; John Reams, Hivalgo.


For a complete list of participating teams and panelists, see below:

Investment Pitch Session #1


Lisa Benson, American Farm Bureau Federation (Facilitator)
Jan Bouten, Innova
David Dornbirer, CoBank
Lars Sanson, DuPont Crop Protection
Kevin Wright, Ritter Agribusiness


AgVoice, Georgia
Cambridge Crops, Massachusetts
Arkansas State University, Arkansas
KSF, LLC, England
Farm Specific Technologies, Tennessee
Waterburg Irrigation, Arkansas
SwineTech, Inc., Iowa


Investment Pitch Session #2


Eric Mathews, Start Co. (Facilitator)
Scott Fullen, Mid-South Family Farms
Barry Knight, Indigo Ag
Ryan Rakestraw, Monsanto Growth Ventures


Iron Goat, Virginia
Autonomous Tractor Company, North Dakota
Stable’N, Illinois
Skycision, Tennessee
Secure Food Solutions, Tennessee
Smart Farm, Arkansas
Hivalgo, Tennessee

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