2018 Program Coming Soon!

Each year, the Forum is a converging point for the global ag tech elite. Industry giants, investors, accelerators, and innovators provide insight on the latest sector headwinds, technology milestones, and key challenges facing the future of ag tech.

Click Here to download a PDF version of the 2017 program, complete with speakers and company listings.

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THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2017

Registration, Coffee Breaks, and Reception: Grand Ballroom Foyer
Presentations, Sessions and Meals: Grand Ballroom Salon A/B + Crush

07:00 - 08:00

Registration & Networking Breakfast - Hosted by Calgary Economic Development

8:00 - 08:15

Opening Remarks

08:15 - 09:30

Panel Session: Meet the Investors

Put faces to names at the Meet the Investors panel session and hear straight from active Venture Capital and Private Equity investors as they lend insight into exactly what they are looking for, and what they are excited about, within the current opportunity landscape.

Matt Bell


Neil Cameron

Investment Director, Emerald Technology Ventures

Mark Carlson

Managing Director

Jason Ingle

Co-Founder & Managing Partner

Mark Kahn

Founding Partner

Armand Lavoie

Managing Partner

Michael McGee

Managing Director

Andrée-Lise Methot

Founder & Managing Partner

Brian Mixer

Investment Director

Victor Scutaru

Director, Fund Investments

09:30 - 10:30

Company Showcase Presentations

Leaders from competitively selected high growth potential emerging companies present their business models in concise 10 minute presentations.

10:30 - 11:00

Networking Break - Sponsored by SRCTec

11:00 - 12:00

Corporate Strategics Feature Panel: Thrive, Survive, or Perish – Tech Scouting as a Strategic Imperative

Meet the corporate strategics and listen in as they discuss the importance of tech scouting as they look to bolster their market share and secure their place on the cutting edge of technology in the ag and food tech industry.

Bill Aimutis

Director, Global Innovation

Zachary Ellis Jr.

Open Innovation & Alliance Management

Jacob Grose

Investment Manager

John Chrosniak

Vice President

Laura Lee

Research Associate

Chris Paterson

Digital Farming Lead

Lorelei Graham


12:00 - 12:30

Keynote Speaker: "Ag Robotics – The Future Farm"

Steve Rhodes

Chairman & CEO

Renowned for its technological prowess and more than 100 years of success in solving agricultural challenges from drip irrigation to pest control, Israel has been attracting increased attention from ag tech investors, leading companies, and entrepreneurs. With a unique and successful business model that encompasses incubation and government support, Steve lends his thoughts on why entrepreneurship continues to thrive in this vibrant market.

Under the direction of Steve Rhodes, Trendlines International has grown into one of Israel’s leading business consulting firms. As an innovation commercialization company, Steve brings decades of business, finance, and banking experience that has expanded the Group’s activities internationally, including raising funds for Trendlines’ portfolio of companies around the world. Learn more about Steve, The Trendlines Group, and their portfolio of incredible companies here.

12:30 - 13:30

Networking Lunch

13:30 - 14:00

Keynote Speaker: “Investing in Innovation – The Ag Tech Effect”

Arama Kukutai

Managing Partner

Arama Kukutai is a co-founder and Partner at Finistere Ventures, a pioneer in the Agriculture and Food technology sectors founded in 2005. Mr. Kukutai has over 20 years of experience in the Agribusiness sector as a founder, entrepreneur, investor, and corporate banker.

He served as Executive Chairman of PKW Farms, a successful agribusiness and diversified investment entity involved in dairy farming and aquaculture activities in New Zealand, Asia and Australia. Arama also led the New Zealand government’s Trade & Investment agency in North America, and had a successful career in corporate banking prior to emigrating to the USA. Mr. Kukutai serves on the boards of current portfolio companies CropX and Zeakal.

14:00 - 14:45

Company Showcase Presentations

Leaders from competitively selected high growth potential emerging companies present their business models in concise 10 minute presentations.

14:45 - 15:15

Keynote Speaker: "The Story of Spitz Sunflower Seeds' Sale to PepsiCo!"

Tom Droog

Founder (Acquired by PepsiCo, 2008)

In 1972, Tom Droog immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands with $125 and a piece of advice from his father: “You can spend it once.” With a dream of owning his own farm and growing crops he could market himself, Tom and his wife moved to Alberta, and eventually decided on sunflowers.

In 1989, they bought their first roaster and started Spitz Sunflower Seeds, a brand synonymous with the tasty treat. After 25 years of continuous innovation and a strong dominance over the competition, Tom and his wife were picked up in a Learjet and flown to Dallas where they sold the business to Frito Lay, a division of PepsiCo, in 2008.

Through his inspiring success story, Tom shares his love for farming and agriculture, why he thinks Canada presents a tremendous opportunity landscape for agriculture, and a few secrets on building and operating an outstanding agribusiness.

15:15 - 15:45

Networking Break: Sponsored by LSAM

15:45 - 16;30

Tech Talks: Daring Innovators

Caitlin Palmer

Sales & Marketing Manager

Krystine McInnes

Founder & CEO

Nicole Rycroft

Executive Director

16:30 - 17:30

Ag Tech Accelerators: Evolving Models Shaping the Ecosystem

2016 was a big leap forward for the new venture and early stage ecosystem. A host of powerful new accelerator and VC accelerators have emerged, ready to help launch the next wave of ag tech innovations. This is your chance to learn more about them and get direct answers about why one of these accelerators might be the perfect launch pad for your business.

Russel Girard

Senior Manager, Screening & Evaluations

Kirk Haney

Founder & CEO

Kevin Kimle


Thad Simons

Managing Partner

Joseph Regan

VP Investments

Mike Manion

Executive in Residence

David Woolford


17:30 - 20:00

Networking Reception

FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2017

Registration, Coffee Breaks, and Reception: Grand Ballroom Foyer
Presentations, Sessions and Meals: Grand Ballroom Salon A/B + Crush.

08:00 - O9:00

Networking Breakfast

09:00 - 11:30

Investor Deal Room

Five outstanding companies will be selected to present their business case for Series A or Series B investment in front of an elite group of the most active Ag Tech investors.