Agbioscience

This weekly podcast dives into the agbioscience sector, where agriculture, life sciences innovation and cutting-edge technology converge. Agbioscience is an in-depth conversation with leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs across food, animal health. plant science and agtech. Learn more about industry innovation and where it's heading from those leading the way.

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Episodes

Wednesday Sep 13, 2023

Leaders from agbioscience juggernauts gathered on stage at the Rally Innovation Conference last month to talk about the growing, evolving sector and what’s ahead for the agbiosciences in terms of both challenges and opportunities. This week, we bring the panel to you. Brook Cunningham, Chief Strategy Officer at Corteva Agriscience, Audre Kapacinkskas, Principal at S2G Ventures and Jeff Simmons, CEO of Elanco, have a candid discussion on their vision for the future of food and innovating to feed a growing population. 
They get into how they are approaching the challenge of feeding more people with less resources, how funding will impact new innovators entering the market and streamlining new innovation from the outside looking in (rather than internally at large companies). How do companies think about internal research and development versus acquiring innovation from the outside? Brook and Jeff break down their approach in this area, collaborating cross sector to drive new solutions into the market and doing what you’re good at (or as Brook says: fit and focus). 
What innovations do Brook, Audre and Jeff see as potential game changers for the agbioscience? They discuss emerging technologies, sustainability as profitability and barriers that exist that keep innovation from the farm gate. 

Monday Sep 11, 2023

Twenty-two years ago, terrorists took to the sky and transformed airplanes into weapons. Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in the attacks. The nation and the world responded, and much has changed since to enhance U.S. National Security. One area that remains a significant area of focus is here in agbioscience – specifically the food system. To help define this challenge and how the Nation is responding is a former Marine and a national security expert. Today we are joined by U.S. Senator Todd Young of Indiana to talk about his military service, the events of 9/11 unveiling just how vulnerable Americans were and the correlation between food security and national security. 
Once deemed by Senator Young as “a moral imperative,” he dives into hunger within our country’s food system, the proximity to anarchy and crises when food access is removed and the importance of sustaining and nurturing these systems to keep our nation secure. He also talks about the role of innovation in creating better food security, The CHIPS and Science Act to enable this innovation and Indiana’s enviable position to lead the way in creating a better food system for a growing population.  

BONUS: Plants for your pets

Thursday Sep 07, 2023

Thursday Sep 07, 2023

From the outside looking in, most would be shocked to learn that Mahsa Vazin was once afraid of dogs. The PawCo Foods founder went from a career in chemistry and nanoscience to plant-based diets for humans in her role at Impossible Foods – and eventually, her work trickled into pet animals. AgriNovus spoke with Mahsa during the Rally Innovation Conference in Indianapolis to talk about gaps in the pet food market, key allergens in dogs and her fast-growing line of fresh, plant-based dog foods.  
She gets into the emerging trends surrounding plant-based foods for humans and animals, approaching the direct-to-customer subscription sales model and her plans to grow and scale PawCo (hint: it involves the Midwest). Masha also talks about her advice to entrepreneurs and what’s ahead for her company. 
PawCo Foods was announced as the winner of the Rally Innovation Conference In-Prize Pitch Competition and could receive up to $1M in funding for her company. Learn more here. 

35. Pod in, produce out

Monday Sep 04, 2023

Monday Sep 04, 2023

Only 9% of adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s a startling statistic that one agbioscience innovator is seeking to improve through at-home technology. Today we are joined by Scott Massey, founder and CEO of Anu, to talk about his gropod technology paving the way for greater food access and sustainability.  
From delivering the student newspaper at Purdue University at night to cover costs of growing his business, Scott talks about habout his entrepreneurial journey, his Purdue roots helping to get his innovation off the ground and what consumers could expect from the company’s gropod system in their home – from leafy greens to tomatoes and herbs.  
With momentum on his side, including a READI grant to manufacture his systems, the question remains: what’s the long-term goal for Anu? Scott gets into his vision for the company and the rewarding feeling of connection consumers to nutrition. 
 
About Anu
Anu™ is a health and wellness brand that empowers consumers to grow Pure Produce® within the convenience of their homes through their proprietary Rotary Aeroponics® technologies. 
This 'Nespresso for plants' business model supplies consumers with recurring seed pod subscriptions to sustainably grow Pure Produce that has superior flavor, nutrition, and food safety. 
Anu was founded by former Purdue University NASA research engineers, and is now commercializing these technologies funded by the Purdue University Research Foundation Venture Capital Fund, the NSF (National Science Foundation) to develop computer vision AI algorithms, and State of Indiana Manufacturing Grants accelerating their seed pod mass manufacturing capabilities to support commercial partnerships. 

BONUS: It’s RALLY week!

Monday Aug 28, 2023

Monday Aug 28, 2023

Innovation is something often discussed but is often under executed across sectors. Earlier this year, the agbioscience economy witnessed a powerful commitment to cross-sector innovation when global ag giant Corteva announced plans to create a new low Carbon fuel with oil giant Chevron and ag processor Bunge. Inspiring more of these cross-sector innovations is believed to hold tremendous opportunity for creating the economy of the future, and today’s bonus guest is laser focused on making that happen with a new event that is underway. Toph Day, CEO of Elevate Ventures and the mastermind behind the Rally Innovation Conference in Indianapolis, joins us to kick off Rally’s inaugural year and talk about our opportunity to bring together disparate stakeholders across innovative sectors to drive new ideas and creative collisions to move faster than before. 
From brain dates to a $5 million pitch competition, high-level keynote speakers like Moira Gunn and Peyton Manning, Toph gets into what visitors can expect from the event in downtown Indianapolis (hint: Peyton Manning opens for an AgriNovus led panel discussion on Thursday at 10 AM).  
Tickets are still available for Rally and single-day passes are also available for purchase. Visit rallyinnovation.com.  

34. Slowing down to speed up

Monday Aug 28, 2023

Monday Aug 28, 2023

Their combined experience in agbioscience leadership has paved the way for Katie Sauer and Scott Keetle’s venture into helping industry companies grow and scale. This week, the Ephiphium Advising co-founders join us to talk about helping companies find their innovative spirit, using insights to help agbioscience companies grow and creating processes and procedures to enable business success.  
How do you help entrepreneurs grow while you’re also trying to grow a consulting business? Katie and Scott talk about the key ingredients that startups and medium-sized businesses need to consider, slowing down to speed up and making sure you focus as much on whole business growth as much as product growth. They also talk about digging deep into your organization to find great ideas from your team and staying curious to unlock new potential.   

Monday Aug 21, 2023

Artificial intelligence is projected to be among the fastest-growing jobs through 2027 based on survey results highlighted by World Economic Forum earlier this year. Known as AI, the discipline is making an impact on agbioscience, and today’s guest is partnering with a well-known celebrity’s foundation to ensure the agbioscience economy has the AI talent it needs. Dominique Pianeli, Senior Product Manager from Corteva, joins us to talk tech as a way of expressing her creativity and building tech platforms as a way of solving problems being huge in all sectors – from MySpace to Hobby Lobby, enter her career in agbioscience. 
Dominique gets into AI as it relates to agbioscience, Corteva’s partnership with The Mark Cuban Foundation AI Bootcamp and bringing high school students along to learn more about their future career opportunities; hint: there’s another one coming soon and an opportunity to register! She gets into what students can expect from Camp Corteva, where to apply at markcubanai.org/cortevaai and how the camp paves the way for young people to imagine the future of AI.  

Monday Aug 14, 2023

Less than 1 percent of startups in the world are funded by venture capital, yet venture remains the focus for many seeking to advance innovation. Today’s guest is a veteran of the venture capital community and is here to shed more light on the role of venture and share a few tips for startups and big companies alike. Ting Gootee, CEO of TechPoint, joins us to talk capital connectivity in startups, big companies investing to create strategic product consolidation and how the venture community is evolving in the Midwest at large.   Ting also talks about investor interest in agbioscience and driving momentum using the customer voice. As the past Chief Investment Officer at Elevate Ventures, she lays out quick tips for entrepreneurs getting ready to make their first pitch including and how to create an “aha” moment rather than a “so what” moment. Ting also lays out for big companies the benefits of working with startups and entrepreneurs to expand their portfolio of solutions and looks ahead at agtech and its acceleration in Indiana. 

Monday Aug 07, 2023

The labyrinth of navigating foreign worker programs is one that is navigated by many … including many here in agbioscience. It’s a dizzying maze of service providers, forms, agencies and advisors, and it’s a system that a new startup connected to Purdue University is seeking to improve. Today we welcome agtech company Croft founder and CEO Scott Prince.   Scott is no stranger to startups. He gets into his passion for starting and growing businesses, what Croft aims to solve through innovation and what it would mean for the challenge to go un-solved. Farms struggle to find seasonal talent to help their operations run efficiently and Scott dives into the H2A program, the experience for the farm operator and the employee and how this streamlined option creates better trusting work relationships on both sides.   So why does an IU grad get into a venture studio at Purdue University? Scott gets into the go-to-market resources and opportunity to collaborate with a base of professionals that allow them to accelerate quickly and optimize their product. He also talks Indiana’s agtech ecosystem and what’s ahead for Croft. 

BONUS: Data making a better world

Wednesday Aug 02, 2023

Wednesday Aug 02, 2023

There will be more than 13,000 job openings annually across the U.S. for data scientists until 2031 – that’s according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics who also shares the median wages for those jobs will be more than 100,000 dollars. These numbers are big and they are across agbioscience. Dr. Sofia Brandariz Zerboni, Senior Data Scientist with Bayer, joins us to share her perspective on the opportunity and new partnerships making data science more accessible to companies and students across the Midwest.  Sofia talks about data science informing better decision making, Bayer’s approach to innovation and the average day of a data scientist in agbioscience. She gets into the company’s partnership with The Data Mine at Purdue University and enabling students from various backgrounds to understand the application of data science in the agbioscience. Diving into data making a better world, Sofia shares her advice for young people considering their career and agbioscience being a good fit for them. 

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