John Deere has announced eight startups have been selected to participate in its 2023 AgTech Startup Collaborator program, two of which are Canadian.
The two Canadian startups chosen were Kitchener-based farm equipment management software startup IntelliCulture, and Regina-based AI drone startup Precision AI.
“If you want to tackle scale challenges on farms bigger than a few acres, Canadian innovation leads the pack.”
Now in its fifth year, the program is meant to help develop the startups’ AgTech technology, and allows John Deere to interact more closely with companies innovating in the space.
“We are trying to help farmers solve big challenges in efficient ways,” said John Deere business development manager Michele Kaiser. “To do this, we need access to a lot of great ideas, so it’s exciting to welcome these companies.”
IntelliCulture provides farmers with SaaS-based insights into what it says are the three main farm management challenges: labor availability, pest prevention, and machine safety. The company closed $1.7 million in seed financing last year led by Saskatchewan-based AgTech investor Emmertech.
Precision AI uses drone-based technology for sub-millimeter accuracy weed management. In the past year, the company has doubled the speeds at which its product could operate, according to CEO Daniel McCann. Precision AI raised $20 million in seed financing in 2021 and expects to do its Series A in 2023, McCann told BetaKit recently.
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IntelliCulture and Precision both have ties to Saskatchewan’s Conexus Venture Capital, as the former is backed by its Emmertech fund while Precision took part in Conexus’ Cultivator program in 2019.
The John Deere Collaborator program includes alumni such as autonomous tractor startup Bear Flag Robotics, which was acquired by John Deere in 2021, and farm equipment-sharing app Hello Tractor, which received financing from John Deere in 2022.
The global AgTech market is expected to grow by over $10 billion in the next five years, according to a report by Global Data. It is a market in which Canada is situated to excel in given the country’s compound annual growth rate of 11.5 percent, according to the same report.
“Canada is one of the best places in the world for AgTech with vast swaths of fertile land, agriculture is one of our key industries, and the caliber of our food production systems and infrastructure is second to none,” said McCann. “If you want to tackle scale challenges on farms bigger than a few acres, Canadian innovation leads the pack.”
Featured image courtesy John Deere.
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