Plug and Play North Dakota Accepts Aker in its First Batch

Fargo, North Dakota, June 8, 2020 — Plug and Play North Dakota has announced the 14 startups selected for the first batch of its new Agtech Program. Learn more here.

Aker measures product effectiveness and increase trust with a new fungicide launch

During the 2019 season, Aker had the opportunity to coordinate the collection, analysis and presentation of 1,200+ on-farm trials, likely the largest in the US for the introduction of the newest members of the BASF Plant Health family: Revytek and Veltyma fungicides. It was a honor to work with an amaizing team staff at BASF and hundreds of growers including Randy Dowdy, David Hula, Cory Atley and Jena/Levi Ochsner. Check the results at www.revxfields.com.

More details on this product launch here…

Agriculture Business Council spotlight on innovation in Kansas

It was such a pleasure to participate in a panel while discussing challenges and opportunities in the industry alongside Jim Carrington, President of Danforth Plant Science Center, Michael Helmstetter, CEO, TechAccel, Chelsea Good, VP Government & Industry Affairs, Livestock Marketing Association, Doug Dresslaer, Director of Cultural Innovation for Dairy Farmers of America, and so many other industry leaders. It is great to be part of a community with amazing talent and dedicated to tackle the tough challenges for such a vital Midwest market segment.

Check coverage of the event in FOX 4 Kansas

Wells Fargo incubator grows solutions to tough energy and food problems

Christina Nunez @cb_nunez at TheHill.com did a great spotlight on agriculture innovation and how industry players are addressing tough food and energy problems. Too often we see headlines that highlight food and energy crisis and not the solutions, and people willing to take a risk to address issues that will have a positive impact for generations. Nicely done! #agtech #thehill #akerag #agriculture #incubation #food

Full story here…

Aker Secures Funding from Institutional Investors to Advance its TrueCause™ Technology

St. Louis, MO (August 27, 2019) – Today, Aker Technologies announced it has secured an investment of $2.6 million in new equity financing. The funding will be used to advance its TrueCause™ technology, an autonomous crop-scouting platform. TrueCause™ and the Aker Pest Network™ provide growers, suppliers, and ag retailers with under-the-canopy disease and pest crop diagnostics to measure the effectiveness of inputs and drive efficient in-season crop management practices.

The financing was led by Lewis & Clark Ventures, with co-investors Flyover Capital and Central Illinois Angels.

“We are delighted to welcome investors who recognize the innovation gap in an increasingly variable climate environment and the potential of our technology across the industry,” said Orlando Saez, Co-Founder & CEO of Aker Technologies. “Our team is excited to have a close relationship with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to accelerate evidence-based field monitoring practices, along with new input and trait development.”

Efficient management of inputs and water to boost crop yield on existing acreage is the foremost challenge in sustainable production agriculture.

“We have seen a lot of startups building crop observation via remote sensing technologies and predictive crop models, but nothing as innovative as Aker’s technology to automate the process of crop scouting under the canopy,” said Lewis & Clark Ventures Principal Larry Page, PhD. “We were particularly impressed with Aker’s early traction with some large agriculture brands, which indicates that they are addressing a real need for growers and retailers.”

“What Aker has accomplished is unlike anything we’ve seen in the AgTech industry,” said Flyover Capital General Partner, Keith Molzer. “We are excited to partner with Aker and Lewis & Clark and see Aker as a great example of the opportunities that early-stage technology companies are creating in Flyover Country.”

Aker Technologies was founded in 2016 with a vision to enable practical tools for growers to improve input cost and efficiency. Aker operates a nationwide crop diagnostic and logistics infrastructure supporting ag retailers and suppliers with validation of crop protection inputs, seed development, and better recommendations with higher ROI for threats impacting yield.

As part of this investment, Aker moved its primary offices to St. Louis to grow the team, work more closely with large agriculture accounts, and continue its research and development efforts with a recently awarded research grant the from Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) in collaboration with the Danforth Plant Science Center and co-administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

About Aker Technologies Inc.

Aker helps growers drive higher crop yields to maximize profitable and sustainable in-season decisions. Aker advances crop diagnostics with patented technology that automates the process of “crop scouting” by detecting disease, pests, crop damage and other environmental stresses UNDER the crop canopy, at scale. Aker offers county and local, pest and pathogen alert data and map services through subscription and in-field crop scouting services on demand. All data is real observed geo-referenced data, not inferred or approximated by current crop models or predictive analytics alone. For more information, visit www.aker.ag.

Danforth Center Features Aker

There are approximately 900 1 million acres of farmland in the US and less than two percent2 of the population directly works on farms. To ensure profitability, farmers and agronomists need to regularly scout their fields to ensure their crops are not being damaged by pests and diseases. This process takes countless hours and comes with a large margin of error.

It’s clear that there is a huge need for automating and digitizing the process for scouting and monitoring crops. Orlando Saez, CEO and co-founder of Aker, has a vision for a new technology that can help farmers get information about pests and diseases quickly and accurately. 

Entire story here…

Aker Named to Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator’s Agtech Program

One of only five agtech companies selected for the IN2 program, Aker will receive up to $250,000 in technical support from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

 

St., Louis, MO (May 14, 2019) — The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), today announced that Aker Technologies Inc. has been selected as one of five companies nationally to participate in the incubator’s first agtech cohort — the program’s fifth cohort overall. Aker Technologies Inc., a Midwest company advancing crop diagnostics, was selected for its innovations in developing technologies that help produce food more sustainably.

In selecting Aker for the inaugural agtech cohort, IN2’s goal is to advance technologies that can reduce agriculture’s carbon, energy and water impact, which collectively account for as much as 70 percent of water and 14 percent of energy usage worldwide. As a benefit of participation in the program, Aker will receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding to test, validate and advance its technologies with experts at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (Danforth Center), the world’s largest independent plant science institute.

“At Aker, we have a strong engineering and software background to enable technology that collects in-season, in-field information at the earliest manifestation of crop stress on a large scale. Our mission is to efficiently serve grower needs,” said Orlando Saez, CEO and co-founder of Aker. “Working with the Danforth Center is a great honor. Their intellectual capital and facilities will greatly accelerate the validation and agronomic impact of our technology for improved crop management outcomes and improve the environmental impact of farming.”

Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings, IN2 expanded its focus in 2018 to advance innovations in agtech, or the application of software and hardware technology to farming. In launching this first agriculture cohort, IN2 seeks to help the agricultural sector overcome the substantial challenges, barriers and costs of implementing new technologies and to speed their paths to market.

“Wells Fargo is excited to be supporting and nurturing innovations that will ultimately lead to more sustainable and productive agriculture,” said Ramsay Huntley, Clean Technology and Innovation Philanthropy program officer for Wells Fargo. “As one of the largest lenders to the agriculture and agricultural technology sectors, Wells Fargo will bring its expertise to the table in de-risking these early-stage startups and help move them to the next level.”

“The companies involved with IN2 might be small, but they’re solving big problems,” said Trish Cozart, IN2 program manager at NREL. “Aker was an extremely strong applicant, and we cannot wait to see the strides they make by being a part of our program.”

“The Danforth Center has been a driver in the growth of agriculture innovation for 20 years,” said Claire Kinlaw, director of Innovation Commercialization at the Danforth Center. “We look forward to leveraging the IN2 model and working with these early-stage companies to accelerate their technologies to commercialization.”

For a complete list of IN2 portfolio companies, visit in2ecosystem.com.

 

About Aker Technologies Inc.

Aker helps growers drive higher crop yields to maximize profitable and sustainable in-season decisions. Aker advances crop diagnostics with patented technology that automates the process of “crop scouting” by detecting disease, pests, crop damage and other environmental stresses UNDER the crop canopy, at scale. Aker offers county and local, pest and pathogen alert data and map services through subscription and in-field crop scouting services on demand.  All data is real observed geo-referenced data, not inferred or approximated by current crop models. For more information, visit www.aker.ag.

 

About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator

The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) is a $30 million technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Co-administered by and housed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, IN2’s mission is to speed the path to market for early-stage, clean-technology entrepreneurs. Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings, IN2 expanded its focus in 2018 to advance technologies that address the interconnection of food, energy, and water. Companies selected for participation in the program receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding, technical support, and validation from experts at NREL and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and ongoing connections to organizations across value chains. For more information, visit in2ecosystem.com.

 

About the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a nonprofit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research, education, and outreach aim to have an impact at the nexus of food security and the environment and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and through the support of individuals and corporations. For more information please visit, www.danforthcenter.org

###

Coming Soon to a Farm Near You–Digital Crop Scouting

Farmers can get a bird’s eye view of what’s going on under the crop canopy with a new hand-held digital probe, field-tested in North Dakota and field-proofed in Minnesota. You can read more about this story in the NewGround article posted here…

Aker Partners with Sinclair College Partners to Advance the use of UAS Technology for Crop Management

 

Dayton, OH – Sinclair College’s National UAS Training and Certification Center along with Aker, a nationally recognized industry leader in providing in-season crop protection data for farm operations, have created a new partnership to leverage unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology to monitor crops for disease, insects, and other stresses.

“The Agriculture sector is the number one industry in the Midwest region, “said Jeffrey A. Miller, Chief Operating Officer, Unmanned Aerial Systems at Sinclair College. “ We are excited to collaborate with a nationally recognized company like Aker to provide flight support and data analytics, accelerating their expansion in the Midwest region while giving our students the opportunity for additional real-world experience in this important market segment.”

“The advancement of UAS technology, coupled with regulatory developments, have been critical enabling factors for us to showcase the true value of the timely application of UAS based remote sensing and data analysis in support of the agricultural industry,” said Orlando Saez, co-founder, and CEO of Aker. “Sinclair is an excellent partner for Aker because they remain at the cutting-edge of UAS technology with the tools and technical capabilities necessary to help advance our capabilities while serving our clients around the Midwest region.”

Sinclair will leverage its UAS, sensors, ground support equipment, and expert flight crews to enable rapid expansion of Aker services in Ohio and the broader Midwest while enabling students to gain invaluable real-world experience in support of precision agriculture missions.

Sinclair College’s National UAS Training and Certification Center sits at the forefront of UAS innovation, creating partnerships, developing leading curriculum, and investing significantly to establish a nationally prominent program dedicated to meeting the workforce needs of the growing UAS industry. Sinclair’s UAS program supports applied research and development, consulting, and training leveraging leading expertise and advanced unmanned and manned simulation, indoor flight facilities, aircraft, sensors, avionics, maintenance labs, additive and traditional manufacturing labs, data analytics software, and a wind tunnel lab. For more information, visit uas.sinclair.edu.

Aker serves an international client base advancing crop diagnostics with practical technology tools and services to improve the profitability and sustainability of every farm operation. Aker services have become the backbone of many precision farming teams serving as the in-season customer service platform for chemical suppliers, agriculture retailers and consultants to help their growers. Their portfolio of services include crop scouting tools, imagery and analytics, and patentded pest detection.