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NMSU’s AgSprint Accelerator Selects First Participants

Six promising startup companies that are developing technology in all areas of agriculture have been selected for a new accelerator program at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center.

The AgSprint accelerator, part of the Arrowhead Technology Incubator, is a five-month venture-builder program designed to support innovation in agriculture by connecting agricultural entrepreneurs to financing, demonstration and validation partners, academic faculty, corporate partners and more.

The cohort of participants includes:

— Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, which is bringing microlivestock to the range as Colorado’s first and only edible insect farm. They sell edible insects to restaurants, food manufacturers and anyone daring enough to choose delicious, nutritious and sustainable food.

— Wildlife Protection Management, which offers a platform to manage and protect wildlife using non-invasive humane means, making it easier, more comprehensive and affordable to set goals for species populations and habitat health.

— Ag Coalition, which offers a digital marketplace where all parties, from suppliers to producers to retailers, may review, evaluate, purchase, and otherwise conduct business in the agricultural supply chain.

— Revolution Agriculture, which creates closed-system, organic farms that produce eight times the yield per square foot, run 100% on renewable energy, use 90% less water, and empower communities to solve food insecurity locally and in any environment.

— Gonzo Farms, which created the Eddy 2.0 Vortex Brewer, which increases beneficial microbes and fungi for optimum reproduction in your soil.

— Enchanted Seeds and Sustainable Management, which offers a management decision platform and certification program that helps agricultural producers properly identify potential products to reach sustainability while considering economics and future agricultural production.

The program’s first five weeks will follow the I-Corps model that tests the feasibility of the venture. I-Corps is a National Science Foundation initiative to leverage university research to create new innovative businesses and increase the economic impact of inventions created at research institutions around the country.

NMSU is one of only 51 academic institutions nationwide to be selected as an I-Corps Site.

Graduates of the AgSprint accelerator will receive $2,000 and the necessary National Science Foundation lineage to apply for the $50,000 national I-Corps program.

Additionally, applicants will be able to receive up to three micro-grants, valued at $650, to cover the expenses of professional services such as technical writing, website development, counsel on patents and technology licensing, and regulatory consulting. Those who show promise will also be invited to continue the program for the next four months, and will be eligible to apply for investment from the Arrowhead Innovation Fund, a venture capital fund focused on seed and early-stage funding for NMSU- and Arrowhead Center-affiliated projects.

Funding for AgSprint is provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center program and New Mexico Gas Co.

For more information about Arrowhead Center, the Arrowhead Technology Incubator or the Arrowhead Innovation Fund, click HERE.

Author:  Amanda Bradford – NMSU

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