The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, San Francisco 2017 Roundup


Rethink Events hosted the 3rd sold-out World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco this week with record numbers of delegates.

This year’s theme focused on Breakthrough Applications and Business Models for Sustainable Farming. Alongside a packed program of interactive panels, roundtables and technology pitching sessions, hundreds of 1:1 meetings took place between delegates and potential partners/clients.

“Each year we see more and more innovation happening in every part of the industry: From start-ups to the global seed and chemical businesses,” says Jennie Moss, Founder of summit organizers Rethink Events. “The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit brings the whole industry together to identify the most exciting opportunities in agtech and to forge new business deals and partnerships to help make them a reality.”

With an expert panel of speakers, including Kip Tom of Tom Farms, Jim Blome of Bayer CropScience and Ismael Roig of ADM, the sessions sparked healthy debate around the potential for innovation in farming systems, from satellites, AI and robotics to gene-editing and the spoil microbiome.

World Agri-Tech brought three new exciting elements to the summit this year. March 27 saw not only a site tour to the Plenty Vertical Farming Facility and the Clos de la Tech Vineyard & Winery, but there was also the launch of World Agri-Tech Demo Day. As a pre-summit event, World Agri-Tech, together with Royse AgTech Innovation Network, brought 12 very early-stage, pre-revenue companies to pitch their ag and food-tech solutions to local VCs. The winning company was Mazen Animal Health and was invited to present at the main World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, taking place the following day.

The summit also saw two additional awards presented. Blue River picked up an award for Disruptive Innovation and Ynsect took the Market Strategy Award.

“Winning the Market Strategy Award is definitely highlighting that the insect business and Ynsect’s strategy is being recognized by business peers as a real industry with tremendous potential in the next few years,” said Antoine Hubert, CEO, Ynsect.

Following the last day of the summit was the new Access Latin America workshop that gave US delegates the chance to meet government officials, growers, investors, accelerators and technology partners from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. A high-profile delegation of speakers included Gustavo Grobocopatel of Los Grobo, Yuri Soares of the Inter-American Development Bank, plus many more.

After the success of the 3rd World Agri-Tech summit in San Francisco, Rethink Events is already focusing on its sister event in London, October 17-18 which is set to host its biggest delegation yet.