Alexandria LaunchLabs® – AgTech, the premier startup platform for early-stage agtech and foodtech companies, has awarded its inaugural $100,000 AgTech Innovation Prize to TerMir Inc., a North Carolina–based agtech company pioneering an innovative and environmentally safe treatment for citrus greening diseases ― one of the most devastating citrus diseases in the world. Citrus greening disease has resulted in a drop in citrus production and harvesting while driving up costs and job losses. In response to this presently untreatable agricultural, environmental, and economic challenge, TerMir has developed a cutting-edge and effective solution for breaking the greening cycle with the potential to eradicate the disease.
The $100,000 prize, which celebrates and rewards excellence in early-stage science, leadership, and business strategy, consists of a $75,000 cash award and a one-year membership to Alexandria LaunchLabs – AgTech valued at $25,000. In May, TerMir and six other finalists focused on an array of agtech areas, including crop protection, digital platforms, robotics, next-generation fabrics, and animal vaccines, presented their pitches virtually before an esteemed panel of judges comprising seasoned investors and industry experts.
  • TerMir (North Carolina) pioneers unique, science-based solutions with effective commercial applications to address key, unresolved agronomic and environmental challenges.
  • Agrynex (New York) boosts crop protection naturally by deploying an antimicrobial enzyme system to protect crops more effectively with fewer chemicals.
  • Ascribe Bioscience (New York) applies tools from metabolomics to the soil microbiome to discover new small molecules to develop into products that enhance plants’ natural resistance to diseases and thereby significantly increase crop yields without reliance on synthetic pesticides that harm the environment and human health.
  • EarthSense (Illinois) created ultracompact, autonomous, teachable agricultural robots with three key applications: to help crop-breeders accelerate crop improvement, to help farmers improve profitability through real-time field data, and to solve emerging threats to agriculture like herbicide-resistant superweeds.
  • GALY (California) produces superior-quality cotton from cells, not plants, in a laboratory, not on farms, at a rate that is 10x faster, requires 80% less resources, and is 6x more profitable than high-quality cotton.
  • Mazen Animal Health (Missouri) is disrupting the animal vaccine market with an oral vaccine delivery platform that offers customers cost-effective, safe-to-deliver, efficacious, and room temperature–stable solutions for disease prevention.
  • TreeCo (North Carolina) is the R&D engine of the forest industry that combines tree genetic insights with the power of CRISPR for a healthier world and sustainable future.
  • Roger J. Kemble, PhD – President, Kemble Advisors LLC; former President, Syngenta Biotechnology Inc.; former Global Head of Crop Genetics Research and Global Head of Technology Strategy & Integration, Syngenta
  • Soren Schroder – former Chief Executive Officer, Bunge Limited
  • Tom Snipes – Chief Executive Officer, Plant Response
  • Colin Steen – Managing Director & Head of Operations, Syngenta Ventures
  • Lynne Zydowsky, PhD – President & Co-Founder, Alexandria Summit; Chief Science Officer of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc./Alexandria Venture Investments
Entrants must be early-stage U.S. corporations, limited liability corporations, or similar legal business entities that: (i) were incorporated or duly organized in their state of formation prior to the submission of their application; (ii) pursue a business plan primarily focused on agtech research and development; (iii) are not a current Alexandria LaunchLabs member company at time of submission; and (iv) are not affiliated with Alexandria or any Alexandria officer, director, or employee.
Complete prize rules and judging criteria can be found here.
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