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Meet the best agritech startups that applied for RootCamp Batch #4

Apr 18, 2023 3:56:27 PM

For the upcoming batch we received an overwhelming number of applications from 72 different countries, a new record. The number of applications has significantly increased by 84% compared to the previous batch, reflecting a growing awareness and recognition of the importance of sustainable agricultural practices. This increase in applications also points to a wider reach beyond Europe, which is a positive development for the promotion of sustainable agriculture globally.

RootCamp Startup region batch 4

Batch #4 received startup applications from a diverse range of countries

In this article, we present you the top startups from the Batch #4 application 👇

Circular economy startups leading the way in sustainable solutions

Instead of the traditional linear model of "take, make, dispose," a circular economy aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible. Many startups are leading the way in implementing circular economy principles, developing innovative solutions to turn waste into valuable resources, designing products for circularity, and creating closed-loop systems:

  • Better to Earth (Portugal): uses glass waste to convert it into a long-duration soil improved for water retention.

  • BioReSTART (Italy): produces functional ingredients for the food (supplements) and the agricultural industry (phytosanitary products, plant biostimulants) based on fruit and vegetable waste.

  • Grassa (Netherlands): offers four high-quality products through a natural process of pressing, heating, and filtering grass. This results in digestible grass protein for cows. The other products include grass protein as an alternative to imported soy, prebiotic sugar, and vegetable-based minerals as an alternative to manure.

  • HempConnect (Germany): employs a circular approach by extracting high-quality hemp-based proteins while using the remaining stalks for pyrolysis to generate renewable heat and biochar.

Thriving startups disrupting the food industry with alternative proteins

According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group “The Untapped Climate Opportunity in Alternative Proteins”, alternative proteins such as plant-based meat, cultured meat or precision fermentation, are the most efficient way to get rid of harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to other industries, the greenhouse gas savings per money invested has the highest ratio in alternative proteins. Check out the these promising alternative protein startups that are thriving in the food industry: 

  • Aquanzo (Scotland): developed a land-based zooplankton farm that can convert agricultural byproducts into high-value proteins. Aquanzo’s mission is to domesticate and farm Artemia as a feed, at a low environmental footprint, for optimal fish and shrimp nutrition. 

  • CultimateFoods (Germany): created a game-changing alternative fat ingredient that brings the authentic meaty taste and texture to plant-based meat products. By using modern cellular agriculture technologies, the startup grows real fat cells without any harm to animals.

  • Fabumin (Israel): uses aquafaba, a waste product in the legume industry, to produce a substitute for egg proteins.

  • Faba.Bio (Germany): designs a new generation of animal-free biomolecules that suit large-scale needs. The goal is to revolutionize the meat industry by enabling meat processors to produce cultured meat directly in-house.

Carbon Farming startups tackling environmental challenges

Carbon farming startups are becoming increasingly important as we continue to face environmental challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. These startups offer innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, regenerate soils, and promote biodiversity:

  • Agrosymbiose (France): is a platform that offers tools and services to improve the profitability of farms while reducing their ecological footprint. Their web and mobile app provide smart devices that help farmers maximize the value of their agricultural natural capital.

  • Artenglück (Germany): carries out local nature conservation measures in the DACH region, providing companies with solutions in the field of CSR/ESG and sustainability reporting. They specialize in creating flowering meadows, reforestation of mixed forests and field bird windows to promote biodiversity. 

  • Spatialise (Netherlands): developed a soil organic carbon monitor that utilizes satellite data and AI to estimate the soil organic carbon content of farmland topsoils. This technology offers valuable insights for monitoring the carbon footprint of food value chains and evaluating the impact of regenerative agriculture practices.

  • Inplanet (Germany):  uncovered the potential of Enhanced Rock Weathering (ERW) for carbon removal in the tropics. The startup enables farmers to replace chemicals with natural rock powders from local mines.

  • Poas Bioenergy (Costa Rica, United States): transforms agricultural waste from pineapples and coffee plantations into biochar to regenerate soils and capture carbon while providing clean energy.

Solutions for better plant production

From functional ingredients derived from microbiological root bacteria to unique methods of producing highly polarized molecules, these solutions are designed to improve soil and plant health while also reducing the use of harmful chemicals.

  • crop domain (India): produces and distributes functional ingredients derived from microbiological root bacteria, sustainably farmed for pest control, soil and plant health, and biodiversity conservation.

  • Sapropel Organics (Latvia): produces a complex blend of biostimulants consisting of over 40 different nutrients of natural origin. The unique production approach allows them to produce highly polarized molecules of natural origin, resulting in a more efficient and cost-effective process compared to traditional methods.

  • Seedalive (Germany): has engineered a solution that enables rapid germination tests, substantially reducing the time required to evaluate the quality of seed germination.

  • Greencap (Germany): tackles the usage of chemical fungicides. By using chitosan-based microencapsulation, they are able to release the bio-based fungicide right on time. 

  • Krauts & Sprouts (Germany): has innovated an algae-based hydrogel to serve as a substitute for peat. The hydrogel, which has been developed as an eco-friendly solution, has the potential to provide a sustainable alternative that can help maintain soil health and productivity.

Insects and livestock innovations in agriculture:

The agricultural industry is rapidly evolving to meet the demands of an ever-growing global population. As we strive to find sustainable and efficient ways to produce food, new technologies and practices are emerging in the areas of insect and livestock farming: 

  • Lowerimpact (Germany): brings alternative insect protein to the masses. The startup develops insect farms to enable farmers to produce mealworms from biological waste.

  • OG Sense (Latvia): has created an optical ammonia sensor that can endure the aggressive conditions in stables and doesn't need frequent replacement.

What's next at RootCamp?

Batch #4 will start next week. We are thrilled to welcome the selected startups in Hannover to scale their business. Follow us on LinkedIn, where we will announce our new cohort. Missed the application deadline? No problem! The new application phase for batch #5 is now open. Submit your application until August 1st.

Mario Verbeek

Written by Mario Verbeek

Mario is very interested in the startup ecosystem and has successfully failed to found his own startup. After his apprenticeship in ornamental plant production, he studied horticultural and environmental economics. With practical experience in the Fund for the Promotion of Innovation in Agriculture at the German Corporation for International Cooperation and his ongoing freelance job in web development, he is an innovation-driven all-rounder.

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