NXTP Agtech Conference: the Agtech innovators of Latam met in Buenos Aires

The conference, whose motto was “The intersection between technology and global agriculture”, took place on November 17th at the Auditorium of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MinCyT) in Buenos Aires.

Over 300 attendees were able to obtain an outlook of the technological innovation in the local and regional agricultural industry thanks to the discussion panels, keynotes and more than 20 speakers of international level that were present on stage.

The conference began with the words of Marta Cruz, co-founder of NXTP Labs. She said that “we are very happy to have more and more agricultural startups in the ecosystem”.

Lucas Cornejo, National Director of Venture Capital at the Ministry of Production, then spoke about the importance of entrepreneurs in the country.

Later on, the first panel of the afternoon began: Big Data Farming: The role of the producer”, with Andrés Castillo -Sales Director at Planet LabsMateus Barros -Business Lead for Latin America at The Climate Corporation-, Andrés Alfonso -Business Development Leader at Satellogic– andJorge Winiar -Director for Latin America at Taranis, moderated by Santiago Venzano -Director of S4 Agtech-. Among other topics, the panel highlighted the opening to integration of Climate and Satellogic with other technology companies, with the aim of developing new solutions to solve specific problems of farmers and producers in the region.

Later on, it was the turn of Ana Castillo Leska, Senior Specialist at FOMIN/BID. She presented the first keynote of the day:”How to sustain an efficient and sustainable agro industry in Latin America? Ana said that there is a growing use of food and that, although technological innovation in agriculture is not a new issue, it is still revolutionary. In her presentation, Ana presented a new IDB survey that includes a mapping of 130 agtech ventures in the region, with Brazil, Argentina and Chile as the main innovation hubs.

Afterwards, it was time to start the panel “New financial services for agriculture. The convergence between Agtech and Fintech “, with Maximiliano Landrein -CEO of Agrofy-, Patricio Williams Becú-CEO of DTA Latam-, Diego Steverlynk -CEO of S4 Agtech- and Danilo Leao -CEO of BovControl-, moderated by Magnus Arantes -Managing Partner of NXTP Labs in Brazil. It was clear from the panel that we are seeing technological leaps related to financial services in the region,  and that marketplaces and platforms such as Agrofy and BovControl are beginning to provide financial facilities to their customers outside the banking structures.

Then came Guillherme Lago – Head of Innovation of Raizen (Brazil) and Fernando Rossetti -Sales Manager of Perfect Flight-, who gave a talk about the success story of Pulse, innovation hub of the firm Raizen in Piracicaba, Brazil. They explained the importance of open innovation in the agricultural industry and how the innovation hub model as a meeting point and interaction of all players can be key to enhance the agtech ecosystem of the region.

Then came the moment that many of the attendees expected: The Regional Pitch Competition,in which the startups participating in the Agtech Regional Program presented their companie before a panel of experts composed by Ana Castillo -FOMIN Senior Specialist-, Ciro Echesortu -NXTP Labs Regional Program Director-, Norma Ramiro -Austrade- Commercial Advisor-, Agustín Bellido -Cloud & Cognitive Manager of IBM Argentina- and Nicolás Loria.

The participating startups were LaurusRizomaDrone UYRastros and Spacedat, who presented their business models in five minutes.

Later it was Santiago Gil’s turn, General Manager of Albor Agro, with his keynote “Ecosistema de valor en Agtech”. Santiago explained how his company is working to provide information solutions for the agricultural industry.

The last panel in the afternoon was “The State of Venture Capital in Agtech. The investment opportunity at Agtech in Latin America “, with José María Peschiera -Vice President of Fall Line Capital-, Tomás Peña – Managing Director of Yield Lab for Latin America- and Thiago Lobao -Partner of SP Ventures, moderated by Ariel Arrieta -co-founder of NXTP Labs. Among other issues, the panel made it clear that although a great deal of short-term exits are not expected, investment in agtech is essential to keep pace with innovation and as a strategic variable for the region’s development.

Then came the time when the jury announced the winners of the Pitch Competition: Rizoma(Uruguay) and Spacedat (Peru)

Both companies won a week of immersion in Australia’s agtech ecosystem with the Sprout Xaccelerator located in Melbourne.

The award was made possible by the Australian Trade & Investment Commission (Austrade), the Ministry of Production’s PyMe Secretariat, Qantas and the Australian accelerator Sprout X.

The conference ended with a successful networking where attendees were able to share rich conversations and opinions about the industry.

From NXTP Labs we congratulate all the startups for having participated and the winning startups. We thank IDB/MIF, Tokai Ventures, IBM, Albor Agro, Dow AgroSciences, Austrade, Sprout X, Qantas, Ministry of Production of the Argentine Nation, Consolid, Cooperación Seguros, Heineken, Fibercorp, Digital House, Esplendor Hotels and Tu Acceso for the support provided at the conference.

We also thank Viviana Valle and Daniel Aprile  from Agrolink for being excellent hosts of the meeting.