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Meet the Asia-Pacific innovators shaking up the agri-food system

Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit, November 18-20, VIRTUAL - from 2.30pm SGT

Accelerating innovation in supply chain resilience, urban food systems, alternative proteins and affordable nutrition, a powerhouse of dynamic early stage start-ups from the Asia-Pacific region will pitch their ground-breaking technologies at this year’s virtual Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit on November 18-20. 

Start-Up Showcases: (Wednesday 18 - Thursday 19 November)
12 exciting agri-food start-ups have been selected to present their solutions on the digital stage - from mobile farming apps, robotics and urban aquaculture systems, to active packaging, alternative proteins and healthy sugars. Seasoned investors quizzing the presenting companies on the viability of their technologies and business models include John Cheng, Director at Innovate 360 and Alex Behar, Vice President at Cultivian Sandbox Ventures. 

John Cheng Director at Innovate 360, says “agri-food has become vital to the survival of the human race. We need to un-learn and re-think the possibilities in this new normal in order to pivot and survive. Food sustainability, alternative proteins, and immunity related foods will continue to grow but at greater speeds. It will be an exciting new normal.” 

APAC Agri-Food Start-Up Day (Friday November 20)
Day three of the summit will spotlight even more start-ups with solutions that could contribute to greater food security in the Asia-Pacific region. Enterprise Singapore, VisVires New Protein, Brinc, The Yield Lab, ThinkAg and Thai Wah will introduce their pick of exciting agri-food start-ups, who will each then have the opportunity to present their technology and business model to the global delegation. The audience will vote for the start-ups with the greatest potential, with the standout innovators being announced at the end of the day. 

Matthieu Vermersch, Founder & Managing Partner at VisVires New Protein, says: “No other industry touches more lives than food and agriculture. Its impact is undeniable. As early investors, we are thrilled to have witnessed first-hand and participate in the evolution of food-tech.” 

Manav Gupta, Founder & CEO at Brinc also notes this significant evolution: “Just like in the energy industry it’s only a matter of time until everyone stops investing in fossils and moves capital and resources to renewables. Once good alternatives exist, governments and non-governmental agencies will also end subsidies for the traditional players across the supply chain and make way for the gamechangers to achieve cost parity and provide a wealth of options to consumers.”

Start-Up Showcase Companies:

Aquaconnect (India) is a global full-stack aquaculture technology venture improving farm productivity, predicting diseases, and creating market linkage through artificial intelligence and satellite remote sensing technology interventions. It works with 20,000+ fish and shrimp farmers in India using AI-enabled predictive tools to help them increase their productivity and profitability. 

Augmentus (Singapore) “With 70 per cent of the cost of robot ownership being software related, automation has been the realm of expensive, highly trained experts and MNCs due to the high technical expertise required in robotics,” says Co-Founder Daryl Lim. To solve this problem Augmentus has created the first fully integrated and code-free robot programming platform that enables anyone to program industrial robots in minutes, including the urban farming industry. 

AuroraFood (Singapore) brings 30+ years of research to combat diabetes with its glycaemic-lowering technology platform, transforming sweet indulgences to become healthy and diabetic-friendly. JoieJoy Baking Mix will be the first product in the market with a slower sugar release without any sugar alternatives added. “We want everyone to enjoy a sweet moment without guilt or health concerns,” say Co-Founders, Jing Gao and Xiaoxuan Jin. 

Bug Bros Biotech (Hong Kong) provides a solution for dealing with organic waste generated by the livestock trade and municipalities and produces insect protein and fertilizer. It has developed an industrial scale automatic system for black soldier fly rearing under a fully controlled environment. The new version of the system is modular within 40 feet shipping containers that can be prefabricated and set up on site quickly. 

Chilibeli (Indonesia) is an online shopping application for daily products such as fruit, vegetables, groceries and other household needs, that carries the concept of social commerce. “We strongly believe that Indonesian women could become great entrepreneurs, and Chilibeli empowers our mitra (agent) with an agricultural supply chain and technology capability,” says Alex Feng, Co-Founder & CEO. 

GreenPod Labs (India) is an agri-biotech company developing sustainable solutions to minimise agricultural food waste in India. It has developed a nano-technology-based active packaging that can extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables throughout the supply chain. The product uses plant phenolic compounds to slow down the ethylene biosynthesis and activates an acquired resistance in the fruit and vegetable to retain its quality throughout the shelf life. 

NatureDots (India) “Our dream is to create a Digital Twin of all the freshwater ecosystems in the world, to understand complex natural resources at scale for establishing nature-positive growth,” says Co-Founder, Mohammad Aatish Khan. The company’s novel hard-tech product, AquaNurch combines nature-based science and deeptech tools to de-risk aquaculture from ecological stressors for establishing climate-resilient sustainable fisheries. 

Senzagro (Sri Lanka) has a wireless sensor network for monitoring farm conditions and using microcontrollers to control and automate farm processes. Its IoT technology helps in collecting information about conditions like weather, moisture, temperature, and fertility of the soil. It also automates the drip and sprinkler irrigation and connected climate control systems to precisely provide what just the plant exactly needs. 

Shandi (Singapore) produces a plant-based meat substitute, made entirely from plant sources without artificial additives, chemical processes or added flavour, creating a benchmark for a clean label. It uses science instead of additives to deliver an affordable plant-based meat substitute with an in-built taste and texture which further develops during cooking giving consumers a true feel of meat and allows them to cook the food they love. 

SingCell (Singapore) is the first contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) dedicated to clean meat. It helps companies globally to develop bioprocesses for their cell lines and media formulations in up to 50L capacity. It offers a scalable commercial manufacturing platform to help clean meat companies address Asian markets. 

Tierraponica (Japan) has a unique hydroponic technology that uses different types of organic matter from food factories to cultivate premium quality and highly nutritious vegetables while promoting a circular economy. It can cultivate in any location from rooftops to going indoors, using conventional hydroponic cultivation equipment. 

Village Link (Myanmar) is the leading agriculture technology company that prides itself in enabling Myanmar’s agricultural and rural communities to use mobile technology. Harnessing advanced satellite capabilities, the knowledge pool of agricultural and meteorological experts, and the extensive networks of its business partners, the company delivers precision farming advisory and market access to individual smallholders across the country.

The start-up community will join the virtual Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit on November 18-20, as it brings together over 800 delegates for three action-packed days of 1-1 video meetings,  speed networking, live panel sessions, small-group roundtable discussions and live cooking demos. 

The full programme, speaker faculty and delegate registration are available at: www.agrifoodinnovation.com

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