New Mexico's First Showcase of Agtech Startups

September 6 I Las Cruces, NM


Ag Assembly brings together a series of exceptionally productive ag-market leaders who take the stage to talk about demands from the frontlines, translating ideas from vision to reality, and the future of AgTech investment. The event will also give AgSprint startup companies the opportunity to pitch their products/services and engage with their corporate and funding peers in a one-on-one format.

Who Should Attend


Get an inside look at the up-and-coming trends and startups at the forefront of ag innovation


Meet the most promising new ag startups


Connect with investors, potential partners and customers. Plus, have the chance to give a 60-second pitch during the open mic session.

Stay tuned for updates on the power-packed 2018 speaker lineup.



10:30 AM


11:00 AM

Opening Remarks

  • Dr. Garrey Carruthers, Chancellor and President, New Mexico State University

11:15 AM

What’s Shaping Agtech: The Global Outlook for Innovation

A Firestarter. The current and future focus for innovation in AgTech, its disrupters and wildcards.

  • Vonnie Estes, Independent Contractor

12:00 PM

Open Mic

  • 60-second pitches. FoodTech and AgTech startups from the Southwest will be selected to give pitches in a rapid-fire format.

1:20 AM


2:05 PM

From the Front Lines of the AgTech Revolution

A chat with agriculturalists. An “agricultural revolution” is brewing, but innovators are often short on real producers to validate the new technologies. What helps and what hinders producers’ adoption of new technologies?

  • Dr. Rolando Flores, Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University
  • Sam Cobb, Owner and President at RMS Foods Inc.
  • Marianne Schweers, Co-Owner at Heart of the Desert Pistachios & Wines and Eagle Ranch Pistachio Groves
  • Derek Romig, Southern Representative at Dairy Farmers of America
  • Sid Strebeck, Owner at Strebeck Cattle and Co-Owner at K-Bobs Steakhouse

2:50 PM

Investing Yields More than Crops

Investor insights. Interest in AgTech has picked up dramatically in the last few years. In just the first half of 2015, investments in the sector totaled $2 billion. This makes investment in the emerging AgTech sector larger than the Fintech and Cleantech sectors.

  • Estela Hernandez, Managing Director, President and Chairman of the Arrowhead Innovation Fund
  • Lee Rand, Partner at Sun Mountain Capital
  • Cheryl Clements, Founder and CEO at PieShell
  • Christopher Burns, Senior Coordinator, Digital Development for Feed the Future at USAID
  • Dr. Lisa Benson, Director of Rural Development at the American Farm Bureau Federation
  • John Chavez, President at New Mexico Angels

3:35 PM

Innovation Spotlight: AgSprint

7-minute demos from the stars of AgSprint. A unique opportunity to hear presentations from the AgSprint cohort, the Southwest’s most compelling early-stage startups in AgTech.

  • James Kaminsky, CDO at Revolution Agriculture
  • Kevin Branum, Founder at Enchanted Management Solutions
  • Deveraux Smith, Founder + CEO at Ag Coalition
  • Wendy Lu McGill, Founder + CEO at Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch
  • Roch Hart, Founder + CEO at Wildlife Protection Management

4:30 PM


Sample some of the region’s best wines while enjoying tasty bites. Entrepreneurs are a sociable bunch; they enjoy interaction as well as transaction. This is a chance to meet like-minded individuals.

View 2017 Speakers

Open MIc

Ag Assembly invites FoodTech and AgTech startups from the Southwest to apply to pitch executives, investors, media, government, entrepreneurs, and other ecosystem contributors. We know entrepreneurs need to be judicious with their time. If you are going to pitch, pitch wisely and pitch to the right people. If you are developing something in the food and agriculture space, regardless of business maturely, presenting at this event will be time well spent.

Up to ten startups will be selected to give 60-second pitches to describe their venture and what additional skills and help they are looking for from the food, agriculture, and entrepreneurial community. Registration fees will be waived for Open Mic presenters.

Space is limited and submissions must be received by August  16, 2018 at midnight.

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