Agriculture: Improving Nutrition, Boosting Yields and Creating the Farm of the Future

Agriculture will arguably be one of the most important industries of the 21st century.

The global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, up from 7.3 billion today, and current projections indicate that we will need to grow twice as much food by 2050.

What’s more, the powers that be in the agriculture industry are taking on a different role than they have played in the past. Gone are the days when we could expect big, industry-shaping innovation to come out of corporate R&D departments. With the recent mega-mergers, there just isn’t enough competition anymore. The market has changed to allow entrepreneurship to set the pace for agricultural innovation.

iSelect invests in the entrepreneurs making those innovations happen.

From improvements in nutritional value, to better resource efficiency, to improved yield, to better cost controls, many areas of the agriculture industry are ripe for disruption. It’s happening already, with harvesting automation systems, sensor-based farm management tools and other advanced technologies already appearing on the increasingly-sophisticated market for farm equipment.

There is now an enormous market for technologies that increase yield, improve nutrition, and bring resource efficiency to the agriculture market.

iSelect focuses on early-stage agriculture companies that are poised to help push the next agricultural revolution forward. This includes firms that focus on increasing yield, crop analytics, alternative commodity production, biological plant and soil inputs, and the disruption of the agricultural supply chain.

Join Our Agriculture Innovation Network.

iSelect Companies

Holganix produces and sells 100% organic plant probiotics that significantly reduce the need for fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and water while improving plant vibrancy and yield.
Learn more…

Agrible sells software that connects the agricultural supply chain from field-to-market, providing critical sustainability, agronomic, and yield data. In an era when consumers demand to know what is grown (e.g., GMO vs non-GMO) and how it is grown (e.g., sustainable, organic, etc.), Agrible is the only solution that provides verifiable visibility from what goes in the ground to what goes in the package, with implications on how agricultural products are grown, traded, transported, processed, and labeled.
Learn more…

HerdDogg is a data collection and analysis company that improves profitability by enabling ranchers to better monitor and manage the health of their herd. Its patented animal wearable technologies provide animal tracking and aid in the identification of missed heats, illness, and dystocia (difficult births) for the 2.5 billion herd animals worldwide.
Learn more…

Bonumose is commercializing low-glycemic index, natural sugars through a proprietary, cost-effective process. Due to public health issues connected to obesity and diabetes, consumer packaged goods firms are reducing traditional, added sugars and ramping their search for alternative sweeteners. The global market for food sweeteners is estimated to reach nearly $111.0 billion by 2020, of which traditional sugars hold an 80% market share. According to estimates, alternative sweeteners have the potential to replace between 2% and 25% of sugar. However, expensive production processes, bitter taste profiles, and poor food functionality, have stymied the growth of alternative sweeteners. Bonumose uses a proprietary enzymatic process to cost effectively convert commodity, agricultural feedstocks (e.g., corn or potato starch) into beneficial, natural sugars with taste and food functionality profiles like those of sucrose.
Learn more…

Agrilyst helps indoor farm operators use data to make more profitable production decisions. Agrilyst tracks and analyzes all farm data in one place, enabling growers to optimize plant performance and reduce operating expenses.
Learn more…

ProteoSense is commercializing a proprietary biosensor for food safety testing. Current tests require expensive, specialized equipment and personnel, take anywhere from 12-hours to days, and often require food to be placed on hold until results are available. ProteoSense’s high-sensitivity, portable system detects foodborne pathogens in less than 2-hours, reducing test time from days to minutes, an important distinction for perishable foods with a limited shelf life.
Learn more…

Benson Hill Biosystems, Inc., based in Durham, NC, with offices in St. Louis, MO, is an agricultural biotechnology company focused on the development of traits to increase intrinsic crop yield, principally by enhancing photosynthetic efficiency. By combining cloud computing, data analytics and plant biology, Benson Hill’s CropOS™ is a cognitive engine that provides decision support to increase productivity, improve resource utilization and enhance the nutritional properties of crops.
Learn more…

Kultevat, Inc., based in St. Louis, MO, combines genetic breeding and chemical process engineering to produce natural rubber from Russian dandelions. There is a strong need to develop a domestic source of natural rubber. Russian dandelions can be grown across wide swaths of the U.S., and produce rubber that matches the characteristics of rubber derived from rubber trees.
Learn more…

Selection Team

Roger Beachy

The founding president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri where he served as Emeritus President and Director for 10 years. Roger is currently Executive Director at World Food Center at University of California, Davis and …

Read full bio >

Chas Eggert

Charles R. (Chas) Eggert has 40 years of experience in the specialty chemicals industry with a proven track record of creating value for startups and large global businesses. Chas is an operating partner focused on specialty chemical investments with A …

Read full bio >

Andrew Daniels

Andy Daniels is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Daniels Trading. He oversees the daily operations of the firm, while maintaining his own trading, as well as advising several selected, long-established customers. In everything he does, Andy s …

Read full bio >

Glen Swanson

Glenn Swanson serves as the President of Daniels Trading. He brings a well-rounded commodity and foreign exchange background to the firm’s day-to-day operations. Glenn has an in-depth knowledge of trading technology and the order execution process that …

Read full bio >

Braden Hudye

Braden Hudye is a managing partner of The Hudye Group, a 3rd generation family owned company involved in Agriculture, Commercial Real Estate, Multi Family Residential Real Estate, Development Property, as well as other equity investments in both the Un …

Read full bio >

Read More from iSelect

Agrilyst Closes Strategic Funding Round

Agrilyst, the intelligence platform for indoor farms, is pleased to announce the recent closure of its latest strategic fundraising round. New investors included iSelect Fund, Argonautic Ventures, Horizons Lab and Onlan Capital Ventures, with existing investors Compound and New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund joining as a follow-on.

read more

Bonumose: Creating Healthy, Affordable Sugars From Agriculture Waste Products

The modern world has a serious problem with sugar. As of 2015, the average American consumes more than 129 pounds of sugar each year, according to the USDA, more than double what we ate two generations ago. And, unlike in previous decades when most sweeteners came from cane and beet sugars, today the vast majority are derived from high-fructose corn syrup, which brings with it unique new health risks.

read more