Partnering with Radicle

Join Radicle to Access the Best in Ag & Food tech Innovation

Key hurdles in ag and food tech funding

We identified two key hurdles in ag and food tech funding – the funding gap itself (in 2018 $5B was invested in food and agtech compared to $23B in health tech and $36B in fintech) and the lack of capital for entrepreneurs. The median seed round for ag and food tech entrepreneurs is $1.5M and it’s not enough to carry entrepreneurs forward and sufficiently develop their product and technology. Trying to raise money becomes a distraction from product development.

What did we do to solve these issues?

We pioneered the Radicle Challenge concept to accelerate the development of technology in the ag and food sectors. This isn’t just a big check and pictures with handshakes on stage at a Pitch Day competition, this is finding the very best tech solutions solving the pain points today’s farmers are faced with and providing those entrepreneurs with a custom company-building program to provide the coaching and connections to allow their technologies to take off. We invest meaningful amounts of capital in those companies (typically $250k to $1M) and work alongside the entrepreneurs to reach key milestones and ensure their success.

We aren’t just investing in companies, we are transforming them. We aren’t a traditional VC, accelerator or incubator, we are a company-building platform.

Where do you come in?

We’ve partnered with Nutrien, Corteva, Bayer, World Agri-Tech, OurCrowd, Start-Up Nation Central and others on these challenges. We’ve identified the niche technical areas they’d like to see innovation in, or focused our search for top agtech innovators to specific geographies based on the priorities of our partners and the market. We work together to drive applications, review the submissions and host an event where the finalists pitch in front of a panel of world-class judges.

This is the chance for companies of all sizes to have a front row seat to innovation, to making meaningful investments in the technologies that will shape the future of ag and food and to play a mentorship role to the winners.

Sponsor benefits:

  • Access to all deal flow and ‘Big Data’ analytics on those companies. Both quantitative and qualitative data is captured on all deals: raise amount, paid-in-capital, valuations, etc.
  • Due diligence of top companies
  • Company recognition on all marketing materials (PR, Email Campaigns, Website, Social Posts) and Radicle’s management of all aspects of the program (project planning, marketing and promotion, deal sourcing, event planning, deal flow analysis and due diligence)
  • No execution risks – Radicle does all the heavy lifting
  • Sponsors’ key executives participate in the final selection of the winners at the pitch day event
  • Optional ongoing investment opportunity

“Working with Radicle resulted in financial support finding its way to two outstanding Canadian companies, while also amplifying the leading role that Nutrien plays in supporting agricultural innovation. Radicle and Nutrien partnered in a way that uniquely reinvented the Challenge, focusing specifically on Canadian entrepreneurs, which culminated in an exciting Pitch Day event in Saskatoon that was also the first of its kind in Canada. Through the Challenge, Radicle has pioneered an approach to invest meaningful capital in potentially transformative companies – and also innovated to gather market intelligence across the early-stage AgTech ecosystem. We look forward to building on the momentum that the Nutrien-Radicle Challenge has created as a catalyst for the acceleration of agricultural innovation here in Canada.”

– Chuck Magro, CEO, Nutrien, Inc.

“After spending more than 4-years driving internal and open innovation for crop protection, biologicals and seeds and traits as head of R&D for the Crop Science division of Bayer, I know that there are lots of innovators out there with great ideas that are looking for a partner to help put them on the map. I’ve worked with Radicle for a number of years and have been impressed with the deal flow and top-notch entrepreneurs they work alongside, and their ability to bring transformative technologies to market more quickly using a number of truly innovative approaches.”

– Adrian Percy, Chief Technology Officer at UPL Ltd

“We wanted to support a sustainable agricultural agenda and felt Radicle was a great partner. The event we hosted with them was really the culmination of about a year and a half worth of discussion and exploration. And we were really happy with the outcome.”

– Mark Thompson, Chief Strategy Officer & Vice President, Business Development, Nutrien, Inc.

“Having worked in and led start-ups prior to assuming responsibility for leading the R&D team at Corteva, I know how tough it can be for entrepreneurs to bring innovations to market. After serving as a judge for one of Radicle’s recent challenges and working with its team for three years now, I am convinced that they know how to help entrepreneurs convert great ideas into workable, differentiated and scalable solutions. I am proud that Corteva is partnering with Radicle on this Challenge to provide farmers with important new tools, and I look forward to seeing the entries it generates from around the world.”

– Neal Gutterson, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Corteva Agriscience


Our past Challenge Winners

Information on all prior Radicle Challenges can be found here.

Interested in learning more?

We’d love to talk more about Radicle Challenges with you and how we might be able to work together. Please email our CEO Kirk Haney ( to learn more.