Fruit packaging robots and nanobubble cultivation: 5 local agrifood tech startups pitch for the future

    the agrifood tech event of asia pacific, AgriFutures evokeᴬᴳ⋅, is rapidly approaching. We take a sneak peek at the startups vying for investor attention with some of the most innovative agriculture and sustainability ideas today.

    From February 21 to 22, the 2023 evokeᴬᴳ⋅ Down to Earth event will bring together local and global investors, researchers and farmers to collaborate on the future of sustainable agri-food technology at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

    Evokeᴬᴳ⋅ 2023 kickstarts the official event program The Investor Pitch Dinner on Monday, February 20. This networking-based dinner gives five investment-ready Australian and New Zealand agri-food tech startups the chance to pitch to a room full of local and global investors.

    Having previously raised capital in successful funding rounds, each startup has already established itself in the growing market. To further drive their momentum, they will each present their solutions to various pressing issues related to sustainability and the longevity of our current agri-food technology industry.

    More after video…

    The 2023 entrants represent some of the most innovative ideas in agri-food today. Each of the five startups also has a female founder. Let’s meet them.

    Geora: Bridie Ohlsson and Cadel Watson

    This New South Wales-based startup provides blockchain-based solutions to supply chains everywhere, unlocking sustainable agribusiness. Co-founded by Bridie Ohlsson and Cadel Watson, Geora uses secure data technology to track and fund local and global supply chains in the agri-food industry.

    Bridie and Cadel’s practical application of technology aims to help farmers unlock sustainable agribusiness so they can focus on what they do best. Bridie, co-founder and CEO of Geora, has used her background in law and early development startups to grow her latest venture.

    Nanobubble Agritech: Lauren Oehme and Leon Power

    Nanobubble Agritech is a pioneering New Zealand startup developed by Taranaki co-founders Lauren Oehme and Leon Power. Lauren and Leon discovered huge potential for advanced nanobubble technology that can be applied in agricultural irrigation systems.

    By further developing the technique of dissolving gas in liquid under pressure, Nanobubble Agritech focuses on irrigation water by applying supersaturated levels of oxygen. This groundbreaking method allows the water to hold up to eight times more oxygen than normal. Using this technology for crop irrigation across the agricultural sector can improve the growth rate and yield of produce, stretching limited resources even further. In short, Nanobubble Agritech disrupts conventional irrigation.

    Foods for the eighth day: Jen Drew and Roger Drew

    Founded by Jen Drew and Roger Drew, Eighth Day Foods is a Victorian startup developing the latest in plant-based protein technology. The company is largely focused on the production of the lupine-based protein, LUPREME, a versatile and cost-effective meat alternative. This protein alternative can be easily grown, using essentially one ingredient and with no significant supply chain requirements.

    Jen and Roger join the other pitching startups at this year’s Investor Pitch Dinner seeking investment from like-minded partners who are passionate about improving food sustainability. In addition to a successful $1 million funding round in 2022, Eighth Day Foods LUPREME got the title best World Plant Food in 2021.

    LYRO robotics: Dr. Nicole Robinson, dr. Juxi Leitner and Norton Kelly-Boxall

    The co-founders of this Queensland start-up robotics company have pooled their scientific knowledge and passion for sustainability to improve the post-harvest packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables.

    The startup is tackling the rising toll of inflation on the agricultural sector, as well as labor shortages across the country. With efficiencies and round-the-clock deployments, LYRO Robotics is ready to introduce its solution to tackle the massive post-harvest food waste seen every year across Australia. The low-friction technology ensures that food products are not damaged or wasted along the supply chain journey, from farm to shelf, relieving people of tedious tasks.

    The leaf protein: Fern Ho and Connor Balfany

    Fern Ho and Connor Balfany’s Victoria-based protein company, the Leaf Protein Co, is determined to solve the lack of biodiversity in the plant-based protein ingredients market. By exploring the potential of leaf protein to fuel the population, Fern and Connor envision a future where sustainable food supply will have a significant impact on our global food security.

    By working with Australian farmers, The Leaf Protein sources large amounts of leaf by-products that would otherwise go to waste, carefully extracting the protein ingredients for wider use. They combine innovative technology with the belief that the most sustainable answer to the global food crisis lies in the most abundant, yet untapped source of protein green leaves on the planet.

    Watch the full two-day Program 2023 here, including all speakers, partners and networking events. Tickets are on their way to selling out. Buy your tickets here.

    If you are an investor who want to attend the investor-only event contact Lauren Sharkey ([email protected]).

    This article is brought to you by Startup Daily in partnership with AgriFutures.

    Feature image: AdobeStock

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