ENRICH in the USA AG Tech and Plant Science Bootcamp
ENRICH in the USA AG Tech and Plant Science Bootcamp
May 04 - 08, 2020
1. Services offered in this specific call
ENRICH in the USA is launching the Agricultural Technologies and Plant Sciences Business Bootcamp to assist European Union and EU-affiliate headquartered, high-growth startups, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and/or other research actors with the pursuit of US-based business and investment opportunities. This Agricultural Technologies and Plant Sciences Landing Hub Bootcamp, co-hosted by Landing Hub, the Helix Center and World Trade Center St. Louis (Center), provides European stakeholders a powerful entrée to the heart of the United States agriculture industry. The entire Bootcamp provides hyper-focused programming, connections, and services designed to help identify appropriate US market opportunities, execute US market entry, and ensure a sustainable presence of the company amongst renowned agtech corporations, farms, and the nation’s largest crop/food industry associations.
The Agricultural Technologies and Plant Sciences Business Bootcamp was made for entrepreneurs with either an agricultural solution – technology, process, or growth technique - which needs to be demonstrated, or a plant derivative – such as seeds – to be scaled up and/or regulated for US market traction, with relevant customers and partners. After the bootcamp each participant will: gain a better understanding of the market entry and dynamics for this challenging sector in the U.S.; catalyze promising connections to a local network in the United States – such as Bayer Crop Science, KWS SAAT, CTC Genomics, and/or Bunge North America, and be better prepared to consider a satellite presence within the region to be closer to critical stakeholders.
During the bootcamp, the Center, an agtech/biotech business development facility for startups and small businesses, will provide participants with an immersive experience ripe with business connectivity opportunities. Bootcamp participants will be privy to the Center’s small business consultants, investment network (including the $1.5M [USD] Helix fund), import/export resources, shared equipment and assets, all focused on the agricultural and plant industries. Additionally, participants will learn more about the World Trade Center’s vast international support mechanisms in trade promotion; workforce referrals; foreign trade zone operations; incentives; immigration support (including the renowned St. Louis Mosaic Project); and supply chain sourcing.
Supported by St. Louis County government and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, the Center is housed in a sprawling innovation district where a diverse range of agtech colleagues can work in their offices or labs, and mingle over coffee. The Center is located within 39North, a 242 hectares agricultural technology-focused innovation district. The unique location of the Center offers ready opportunities for partnerships with nearby organizations, such as the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (the world’s largest independent plant science research institute), BRDG Park (offices for post-incubator and emerging companies), the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Located in the St. Louis municipality of Creve Coeur, a centrally located suburban community, the Center is within minutes of major highways, St. Louis Lambert International Airport, outstanding research universities and major business centers. Other influential St. Louis organizations advocating for agtech and active with the Center are BioSTL, St. Louis' leading industry-specific organization for life sciences, as well as the St. Louis Agribusiness Club, St. Louis' oldest and largest industry-specific organization for agriculture.
Eligible participants may either have companies already incorporated or planning to incorporate, already proven their technologies at least at lab scale, and able to send personnel chiefly responsible for technology and/or business development. Participants who attend the Bootcamp must be either responsible for technical sales and/or have invented and is responsible for the future development and scale-up of the product.
- Create US-based agricultural technologies and/or plant science-related business opportunities for EU and EU-affiliate startups and entities
- Find financial support for EU startups and entities
- Explore facilities and programs to serve as a Soft Landing destination for EU startups and entities to be closer to the first two aims
- To find opportunities, through engagement with leading players from the business, investment, and regulatory domains of a top U.S. ecosystem for agriculture technologies and plant sciences ventures.
Landing Hub Introduction
Selected participants will meet virtually with both the Landing Hub (Helix Center/WTC St. Louis staff) and ENRICH in the USA US Coordinator Node staff, to best understand what connections could be made while in the region. On Fridays leading up to the Bootcamp, accepted applicants will be scheduled to meet with Landing Hub and other ENRICH in the USA staff. Prior to meetings, participants must research the Agtech and Plant Science Landing Hub directory. They may also be asked to send company marketing collateral and/or other materials.
Bootcamp – Arriving at Landing Hub:
Participants will travel to St. Louis, Missouri, and are expected to arrive no later than by mid-day May 3, 2020. The following itinerary for the Bootcamp is below for May 04 - 08, 2020:
May 04 – May 05,
9am – 5pm: Agtech Next Conference
All participants will attend the Agtech Next Conference hosted at the Danforth Plant Science Center. AgTech NEXT tackles questions of national and global importance including food production, soil health, food sustainability, food waste, and food security. At this event you will connect with industry trailblazers, leading scientists, innovative startups, and key global stakeholders, all deeply committed to addressing today’s challenges and defining tomorrow’s solutions for the future of food.
The AgTech NEXT 2020 agenda is curated around the theme of “Risks & Rewards”. Risks across the global food production system have risen to an all-time high in the face of global social, environmental, political, economic, and technological disruption. However, the risks we face provide unique opportunities. Those willing to innovate, chase better solutions, pivot towards new ways of doing things, and reshape our global future will reap the rewards
9am – 2pm: Agtech Next Conference final sessions
2pm – 6pm: Participants will participate in sessions from the leading state and regional resources from Missouri and the city of St. Louis to learn about the economic makeup and resources of the region in addition to transportation and logistics resources available in the St. Louis region for international companies looking to ship products around the United States.
6pm – 8pm: Networking with Agtech stakeholders in St. Louis
8am – 11am: Visit and meetings at the Bayer Crop Science headquarters and research facility
11am – 12pm: Investor meetings at the Yield Lab, an agriculture technology accelerator with international offices
2pm – 4pm: Meeting at National Corn to Ethanol Research Center
5pm – 8pm: Attending Agtech focused networking event at the Cortex Innovation District, a vibrant, 200-acre hub of business, innovation, and technology integrated into St. Louis' historic Central West End and Forest Park Southeast neighborhoods, surrounded by nationally-ranked universities and medical centers and abundant cultural and recreational assets.
9am – 10am: Company meeting at KWS SAAT, an international research and development focused on plant breeding
10am – 11am: Company meeting at CTC Genomics, a sugarcane breeding company focused on the development and implementation of the latest biotechnology methods to enable the development of new sugarcane varieties
11am – 12pm: Meeting at 39North Innovation District to learn about resources available for Agtech and Plant Science Research and Innovation in St. Louis
2pm – 4pm: Tour of a St. Louis farm (TBD) implementing state of the art agtech practices
Expected outcomes and impact per participant:
- ≥2 business connections per participant resulting in direct follow-up between participants and potential customers and/or industrial partner
- ≥1 participant obtaining an investment prospect from either a business and/or other lead from within the Landing Hub
2. Target Group of this Call
Individual EU Member States/Associated Countries high-growth startup and SME founders, as well as researchers who are interested in exploring the US market as a short to middle term vehicle for commercializing deep tech products and services broadly in the domain of agriculture technology and plant sciences. Examples of relevant technologies may be related to, but are not limited to, the areas of: sensors, devices, machines, processes, and information technology which support applications in plant/animal production, processing, distribution, and storage. Welcomed plant science products/solutions/processes include, but are not limited to: plant growth, reproduction, evolution, and adaptation, as well as the use of plants for food, fiber, and/or ornamental purposes. Special emphasis on technologies that provide benefits to end-users such as higher crop productivity; decreased use of water, fertilizer, and pesticides; reduced impact on natural ecosystems; less runoff of chemicals into rivers and groundwater; increased worker safety; and/or greater control over agricultural applications listed above. Please send an email to the contact person listed at the end of this application if you have any questions about your eligibility.
Applicants must meet the following requirements:
- If an individual, applicant must be a taxpayer in an EU MSAC AND/OR be an EU MS/AC passport holder
- If incorporated, applicant must pay taxes in an EU MS/AC AND/OR have as the majority of shareholders EU MS/AC passport holder
- Be able to communicate (read and speak) in English
3. Funding Principle
Thanks to support for this Bootcamp by the European Commission, the cost per participant for all expenses is a non-reimbursable fee of 1,500€. This highly reduced participant fee covers two meals per day, entrance fees to associated events/venues, and transportation to/from hotel and all Bootcamp sessions.
Participants must cover the costs for flights to and from the United States, and other costs not mentioned above (e.g. ESTA/VISA application costs, health insurance, accommodation, dinners, etc.).
4. Submission Procedure
All applicants must register at the electronic submission tool F6S under https://www.f6s.com/agtechplantsciencebizbootcamp.
It is highly advised again, that interested applicants apply as soon as possible, and not wait for the application deadline, as eligible applicants who meet the selection criteria will be invited to the Bootcamp in the order in which they applied. ENRICH in the USA staff will assist with questions or portal issues for applicants. Besides basic information, applicants must complete a checklist to ensure compliance with the eligibility criteria and each section of the application.
In F6S, the applicant is asked to register and provide general and personal information, (such as name, institution, organization type, contact details, and specific questions referring to the organization type). All applicants must acknowledge that they are aware that some costs have to be covered individually.
Applicants must complete all required questions in the F6S application and confirm that they:
- Engage in commercial and/or research activities within the agriculture and/or plant sciences industries (see previous section for definition/areas of alignment)
- Are a major decision-maker in executing new customer, supplier, or partnership relationship developments
- Have a sincere interest in US-based business, technology development, and/or other partnership collaboration opportunities and be a decision-maker in potential location scouting activities
The questions listed under Specific Questions were designed to help both the applicant and Host organizations foster ideal connections within the ecosystem, as well as to refine the Bootcamp itinerary. These questions include:
- What types of products/services and/or research does your organization develop? If you do not directly conduct technology development, please indicate if you have stakeholders (customers/clients, members, tenants, etc.) that do conduct technology development and in what areas relevant to the Bootcamp sector.
- What are your expectations from the ENRICH in the USA Agtech and Plant Sciences Sector Bootcamp?
- Why are you interested in learning more about the US market?
- Please list particular companies, investors, and/or institutions you are interested in being connected to within the Landing Hub region this Bootcamp is held within.
Note that all application responses have to be submitted in English.
5. Evaluation and Selection Procedure
The fundamental principles governing the evaluation of the applications are:
- Transparency: The process for selecting applicants will be clearly described and made available to any interested party.
- Fairness and Equality of treatment: All applications shall be treated alike, irrespective of where they originate or the identity of the applicants.
- Ethical and Legal considerations: Any application that contravenes ethical principles and legal regulations may be excluded from being evaluated and rejected at any time.
Selected participants must meet basic eligibility criteria and participant fee must be received by April 4, 2020. Applicants who meet the criteria will be contacted with payment information.
Eligibility Check: Will be done by the ENRICH in the USA staff following the criteria defined in section 3:
- If they meet the respective eligibility criteria (outlined above)
- If they meet the respective target group for this call (outlined above)
Selection: Applicants who meet the optimal selection criteria and satisfactorily answer the Specific Questions outlined in Section 5 listed above, will be invited to the Bootcamp. Unanswered or partially completed questions will not be considered to move forward in the process. A team formed of ENRICH in the USA staff will review applications in the F6S portal, every two weeks leading up to the application deadline.
Scoring: All applicants will be evaluated on a five-star evaluation scale – if applicants can confirm all three selection criteria statements and answer all four of the Specific Questions thoughtfully, they will earn a 5-star rating.
Admission: The first 20 candidates with 5 star-ratings will be invited to attend the Bootcamp. Within two weeks of applying, if not sooner, applicants will be notified of their selection.
Please note: ENRICH in the USA is beholding the right to create a waitlist of suitable candidates reaching the necessary 5 stars score.
6. Time Schedule
February 7, 2020
April 4, 2020
Submission of application and call closes
Before and up to April 4, 2020
Selection of 20 applicants
April 25, 2020
Payment to participate must be received by
May 04, 2020
For questions regarding the ENRICH in the USA Agtech and Plant Sciences Bootcamp, please contact:
 ENRICH in the USA has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 733286.