Creative Destruction Lab’s Calgary accelerator, CDL-Rockies, has launched an agriculture stream to help seed-stage science and technology-based startups in the agriculture and food space.
The program will connect companies to leading scientists, economists, entrepreneurs and business students through an objective-based process, towards the goal of commercializing and scaling their enterprises.
“Through CDL-Rockies, we look forward to tapping into the leading research being developed on the prairies.”
“When it comes to agriculture, the Canadian prairies are home to world-class academic and business expertise as well as some of the largest agriculture companies in the world,” said Alice Reimer, CDL-Rockies’ site lead. “I can’t think of a better place for startups in this industry to get the support they need to grow.”
CDL is a nonprofit that serves “massively” scalable, seed-stage, science and tech-based companies at eight sites across four countries. CDL-Rockies is based at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business.
“Through CDL-Rockies, we look forward to tapping into the leading research being developed on the prairies,” said Jim Dewald, dean of the Haskayne School of Business.
The agriculture stream will focus on new technologies with the potential to significantly impact or improve current operations in areas such as sustainable agriculture, farm-tech, food safety and quality, and processing and manufacturing. The agriculture stream will complement CDL-Rockies’ Prime and Energy streams, and its work will be supported by the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan.
Builders VC venture partner, angel investor, and entrepreneur Alison Sunstrum joined CDL-Rockies’ new agriculture stream as a fellow and founding partner. Sunstrum is the co-founder of GrowSafe Systems, a Calgary-based agricultural technology (AgTech) company that builds animal agricultural systems. According to Sunstrum’s LinkedIn page, she’s been with CDL since September 2019.
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“How we ensure food security and feed a growing global population into the future is a big question, and I believe technology is the answer,” said Sunstrum. “I’m delighted to be able to help the next generation of entrepreneurs expand their ideas and bring them to market.”
Saskatchewan-based agricultural giant Nutrien is also joining the stream as a partner. Nutrien is a global producer of crop inputs and leader in agricultural retail.
“Nutrien is an organization highly focused on ensuring food security for the world, while playing a leading role in sustainable agriculture,” said Chuck Magro, Nutrien’s president and CEO. “Our goal is to produce more food with fewer natural resources and lower carbon emissions.”
“Our partnership with CDL-Rockies will help place us at the cutting edge of new technologies that will bring us closer to our goal,” he added.
CDL-Rockies’ agricultural stream is currently accepting ventures from around the world, but candidates based in Canada or the United States are preferred. The first cohort of the program will take place over a nine-month period. CDL charges no participation fees and does not take equity in participating companies
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