Agritech venture forum

2019 Program Schedule 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 2018 program, complete with speakers and company listings.

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THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2018

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 - Sponsored by BIOTECanada & Calgary Economic Development

08:00 - 08:15

Opening Remarks

08:15 - 09:00

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.

Jacqueline Heard

Venture Partner

Brad Fabbri

Chief Science Officer

Ingrid Fung

Senior Associate, Agriculture Technologies

Pat Morand


Michael McGee

Managing Director

Tyler Mayoras

Co-Manager, Food & Ag Fund

Douglas Saxon

Venture Partner

Dave Smardon

President & CEO

09:00 - 09:15

AVAC Address

09:15 - 10:15

Company Showcase Presentations

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

10:15 - 10:45

Networking Break - Sponsored by Prairie Biosciences Canada

10:45 - 11:15

Keynote Speaker

Alison Rabschnuk

Director of Corporate Engagement

Transforming Our Food System: Bringing Market-Disrupting Products to Reality

As Director of Corporate Engagement at The Good Food Institute (GFI) Alison Rabschnuk is set on changing the way we think about the future of food. This international organization is at the forefront of the next agricultural revolution – replacing animal products with plant-based and clean meat alternatives. Collaborating with scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors, The Good Food Institute is in the business of helping foster ground-breaking food tech innovations that are more delicious, safer to eat, and better for the planet.

Alison brings 25 years of advertising, marketing, and sales experience to GFI having worked with brands including Taco Bell, Levi Strauss, Gap, Kiplinger’s, and Parents Magazine. She works with leading food service companies, supermarkets, and restaurants to help increase the quality and quantity of plant-based products available on the market.

11:15 - 11:30

Tech Talks

Pete Nelson

President & Executive Director

The Innovation Divide: Bridging the Gap Between the Farm and AgTech Commercialization

Founded in 2015, AgLaunch was born with a mission – to  grow 100 agricultural companies in Tennesse throughout the next five years. Championing a farm-centric innovation model, Pete Nelson is bringing together technology and the farm to change the way that deals are being created for ag tech investors and entrepreneurs. For Pete, this means addressing the disconnect between new technology innovation, farmers, and bringing forward solutions that address real-world agriculture problems.


Pete is a life-long advocate for farmers and is the President and Executive Director of AgLaunch. AgLaunch is a joint initiative of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture focused on creating and supporting new agricultural businesses. Since announcing the initiative in August 2015, nearly 30 companies have been assisted by AgLaunch’s work. Don’t miss Pete at #AGRIForum

11:30 - 12:00

Keynote Speaker

Jason Drew


Environmental Capitalism: Driving the Sustainability Revolution

Described by Forbes Magazine as the “lord of the flies who would be king” Jason’s company, AgriProtein, has taken the world by storm, leading the way in a new industry called nutrient recycling. AgriProtein, which by headcount, is the largest farming operation on the planet, takes fly larvae that are fed on waste to produce animal feed. Their goal – to secure the future of food while also delivering significant environmental benefits.

Jason was awarded the UN innovation prize for Africa in 2013, and already has fly farm projects underway in the UK, the US, South Africa, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

12:00 - 13:00

Networking Lunch

13:00 - 14:00

Panel Session: Engaging the Corporate Strategics

Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) is playing an ever increasing role in the venture funding ecosystem. Companies are turning to CVC as an alternative to the traditional venture funding model, and internally, CVC is stepping in to ensure that there is a viable, healthy emerging ag tech ecosystem to feed their corporate parents’ long term needs. Listen in as our panel of key players discuss the current opportunity landscape and how to successfully engage with the broader CVC community.

Kathy Krug


Bill Aimutis

Director, Global Innovation

Andrew Spahr

Director, Primary Nutrient Sales

Reese Schroeder

Managing Director

Jacob Grose

Investment Manager

Wim Hilbrands

Project Director

14:00 - 15:00

Company Showcase Presentations

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

15:00 - 15:30

Networking Break

15:30 - 16:00

Keynote Speaker

Nico Bolzico


Deploying Capital & Technology in Developing Economies: LM10 Brings Together Capital & Leading AgTech to the Philippines

Founded in 2012, Nico Bolzico, President of LM10 is ready to invest and take agribusiness in the Philippines to the next level. By offering their technology, combined with their capital, LM10 believes they can help transform the Philippines into a world-class, agro-export country. Partnering with local players in the Philippines, LM10 is using leading technology, processes, products, and education in order to grow, boost productivity and establish the Philippines as a key player and significant contributor to economic growth.

16:00 - 17:00

How Seed Stage Investors Can Help Start-Ups Grow Faster; The Power of The Network

James Oborne

Managing Director

David Gauthier

VP, Investment

Kirk Haney

Founder & CEO

Alex Arrivillaga

Senior Manager, US Food & Agriculture

Paul Richards


Pete Nelson

President & Executive Director

17:00 - 17:15

Closing Remarks

17:15 - 20:00

Official Networking Reception