By Lauren Villagran / Journal Staff Writer – Las Cruces Bureau
Thursday, April 13th, 2017 at 1:01pm
New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center has chosen six startups for its new AgSprint business accelerator focused on developing technologies for next-generation agriculture businesses.
The winning ideas range from an edible insects business to wildlife management systems and high-yield organic farms. The five-month incubator connects agricultural entrepreneurs to financing and investment, academic faculty and corporate partners.
Here are the six startups:
Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch aims to bring “microlivestock” to the range as Colorado’s first and only edible insect farm. Rocky Mountain markets edible insects to restaurants and food manufacturers “delicious, nutritious and sustainable food,” according to an NMSU news release.
Wildlife Protection Management offers a platform to manage and protect wildlife using non-invasive, humane means. The goal is to make it easier and more affordable to set goals for species populations and habitat health.
Ag Coalition has designed a digital marketplace where suppliers, producers and retailers may do business in the agricultural supply chain.
Revolution Agriculture creates closed-system, organic farms that produce eight times the yield per square foot, run 100 percent on renewable energy and use less water than traditional farms, according to NMSU. Their goal is to empower communities to solve food insecurity in any environment.
Gonzo Farms created the “Eddy 2.0 Vortex Brewer” to boost beneficial microbes and fungi for optimum reproduction in soil.
Enchanted Seeds and Sustainable Management offers a management decision platform and certification program that helps agricultural producers identify potential avenues to achieve sustainability in their products, while considering economics and future agricultural production.
AgSprint graduates will receive $2,000 and a chance to apply for the National Science Foundation’s $50,000 grant through its I-Corps program, which leverages university research to innovate new businesses. NMSU is one of 51 academic institutions selected as an I-Corps site.
Funding for AgSprint is provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center program and New Mexico Gas Co.