Radicle Growth has awarded Scanit Technologies $250,000 as the winner of the Radicle Challenge by Corteva. Radicle teamed up with Corteva on this Challenge to identify a promising agtech startup that is solving agricultural challenges with novel technology solutions and support its success.
An in-field platform for indoor or outdoor growers to detect plant pathogens when they are airborne and before they infect plants, Scanit Technologies was selected as the winner of the Radicle Challenge by Corteva for their novel technology for use in outdoor fields or greenhouses that provide growers with very early warnings to airborne plant pathogens that can devastate yields, increase the use of chemicals and raise operational costs. The instrument ingests, inspects and transmits air particles to the cloud where machine learning and classification algorithms analyze them continuously and alert growers of the counts of active spores. This allows for preventative actions to be taken to maximize yields and reduce operating costs.
“There is no way to tell what is in the air around us. This has impacts on human health as well as a significant unmet need in agriculture. Our technology was developed based on our founders’ background in optics and defect detection. He invented a method to use optics and light to classify particles and that was the basis for our company’s launch three years ago,” said Glenn Wanke, Chief Commercial Officer, Scanit Technologies. “The funding and agronomy expertise of Radicle and Corteva will help us scale our business and commercialize the technology, validate our efforts within the indoor horticulture and outdoor crop focus areas, bring on key talent to deliver on our product roadmap and raise follow-on capital.”
In addition to the funding from Radicle, Scanit Technologies will benefit from a custom acceleration program with access to Radicle’s company-building platform and have the opportunity to engage with Corteva technology leaders to help shape, validate and refine the selected growth opportunity using virtual or actual on-the-farm assessments.
“At Corteva, we are committed to helping farmers drive their performance, profitability and environmental sustainability,” said Neal Gutterson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Corteva. “Supporting and nurturing new ideas and approaches – and the entrepreneurs behind them – is an important part of how we innovate to enrich the lives of farmers. Radicle’s mentorship of early-stage companies is enormously valuable in this regard. We congratulate Scanit Technologies on its well-deserved win and look forward to working alongside the Radicle Growth and Scanit Technologies’ teams to further validate and refine its promising solution for early disease detection to keep plants from being infected from airborne impacts.”
The finalists of the Radicle Challenge by Corteva made their pitches in front of a virtual audience who were invited to provide their feedback to the finalists in four areas, from the clarity of their presentation to the potential of their innovation to transform agriculture. Based on this input, Holganix was selected as the “People’s Choice” Award Winner and will receive a coaching session from Corteva and Radicle.
“We saw the largest number of applicants ever to a Radicle Challenge with 62% coming from outside the U.S. This is a great example of how there is no ‘Silicon Valley’ for AgTech and you have to scour the globe to find the best technologies and entrepreneurs,” said Kirk Haney, CEO and Managing Partner, Radicle Growth. “We look forward to working alongside Corteva to help take Scanit Technologies, Inc. to the next level and to continue to identify global innovation in ag and foodtech.”