$1.5M investment at The 2023 Radicle Inclusion Challenge Presented by Nutrien, hosted at WIA Summit
Less than 3 percent of U.S. venture capital is invested in entrepreneurs who are women, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), but The Radicle Inclusion Challenge Presented by Nutrien aims to change that.
Nutrien, the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services and a long-standing sponsor of the Women in Agribusiness Summit, and Radicle Growth, a company-building platform for early-stage ag and food technologies, partnered to create “The 2023 Radicle Inclusion Challenge Presented by Nutrien” (Inclusion Challenge), which will invest US$1.5M in early-stage ag-tech companies from around the world that are led by entrepreneurs from or supporting underrepresented groups, while also advancing a sustainable food value chain.
Out of 192 entries from across the globe, four finalists have been selected to showcase their work at a Pitch Day during the afternoon of the last day of the WIA Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, September 28th (additional registration required). To attend, please register HERE.
The finalists will compete for one of two U.S. $750,000 investments, valuable collaboration with Radicle Growth and Nutrien senior executives, and access to Radicle's company-building platform. The finalists will present their technologies to an industry-leaders panel of judges. Think Shark Tank, but with months of due diligence examining the competitors before the Pitch Day.
Following the success of the 2022 Inclusion Challenge, Nutrien and Radicle Growth decided to partner again to continue the mission of assisting diverse groups in agriculture in attaining venture capital and access to resources that could help bring their technologies to market.
“Data from our 2022 Inclusion Challenge highlighted that founders from underrepresented groups typically lack the resources, mentors, and capital needed to put their ideas into practice,” said Kirk Haney, managing partner at Radicle Growth. “We are leveraging these insights to help founders from underrepresented groups bring their game-changing ideas to market.”
In addition to supporting two innovative companies, the Inclusion Challenge expects to measure impact and provide market intelligence in the area of inclusion and diversity in agtech, in a way that provides valuable insights into how underrepresented groups get access to the resources they need to be successful.
“We’re very excited to have pioneered this new business model to help drive, support, and foster innovation in the sector,” said Haney. “This new model allows us to better understand the challenges founders face while also aligning their start-ups with the capital and partnerships they need to be successful.”
"Overall, we've made 18 investments and had 2 exits, so we are considered one of the top agtech investors in the space, and we've been able to facilitate corporate engagement with all of our Radicle Challenge winners," said Haney. "I'd call it a win-win-win for all stakeholders. We can shine a light on the problem, bring collaborators to the table, back some great founders from underrepresented groups, really understand their challenges, and support them with solutions."
Noralee Bradley, Nutrien’s executive vice president external affairs and chief sustainability & legal officer, said, “We are excited to continue supporting this unique opportunity to help build a platform that strengthens social outcomes and helps advance agricultural innovations. Supporting the Radicle Inclusion Challenge is one way we are honoring our commitment to ‘inclusive agriculture’ by tapping into the full potential across the agriculture value chain, with a special focus on diverse groups who may not have the systems needed to progress their ideas.”