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The 2021 AgTech Breakthrough Awards were announced this week recognizing companies, products, and services that are revolutionizing the agriculture industry. Congratulations to our portfolio company teams at AppHarvest, Arable, Benson Hill, Hazel Technologies, IGS, iUNU, and Shenandoah Growers for being recognized.

The AgTech industry is becoming increasingly important in the fight against climate change and the mounting pressures on our food system. At S2G, we believe that AgTech will not only help decrease greenhouse gas emissions and reduce negative agricultural externalities, but it will equip farmers with the tools they need to increase productivity and profitability while stewarding the land and providing nutritious food for a growing global population.

AgTech has a critical role to play in the future of our food system and we celebrate the entrepreneurs who are leading the pack in bringing these new technologies and products to market.


IoT Monitoring Solution of the Year

A pioneer in decision agriculture, Arable Labs builds affordable tools that help people collect and synthesize site-specific agricultural data. The company’s mission is to achieve global impact by providing the measurements, insights, and predictions that enable growers to recognize and address risk. Through access to ground-truth knowledge, Arable empowers agricultural stakeholders to more effectively manage natural resources and lower food waste throughout the supply chain.


Overall Indoor Farming Solution of the Year

AppHarvest is building some of the world’s largest controlled environment agriculture facilities, combining conventional agricultural techniques with today’s technology to grow non-GMO, chemical-free fruits and vegetables. The company has developed a unique system to reduce water usage by 90 percent compared to typical farms, as a 10-acre, on-site rainwater retention pond pairs with sophisticated circular irrigation systems. The system also eliminates agricultural runoff entirely.

This has been a whirlwind year for AppHarvest. It began trading on the Nasdaq following a merger with Novus Capital Corp, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company. In June they announced two new large-scale CEA facilities in Somerset and Morehead, Kentucky that will grow strawberries and leafy greens. AppHarvest also expanded its educational high-tech container farm program for Appalachian high school students and now has a total of five farms designed to help build an agtech capital in Appalachia. The company invested in the Series A for Saudi Arabia-based startup Red Sea Farms which uses smart technology to cultivate food crops using saltwater instead of freshwater, and acquired agricultural robotics and intelligence company RootAI to boost efficiency in their operations.

Benson Hill

Overall FoodTech Company of the Year

Benson Hill moves food forward with Cloud Biology® and the CropOS™ platform, a leading food innovation engine that combines data science and machine learning with biology and genetics. Benson Hill empowers innovators to unlock nature’s genetic diversity from plant to plate, with the purpose of creating healthier, great-tasting food and ingredient options that are both widely accessible and sustainable.

Benson Hill went public in May of this year in a $2 billion SPAC merger. To fine-tune the productivity and performance of its CropOS technology platform the company launched a Food System Innovators program, an initiative that partners with farmers who will test the company’s technologies in their commercial agriculture operations. Benson Hill’s recently announced operating and financial results from Q2 of 2021 include increasing consolidated revenues by 28 percent to $39.7 million, increasing contract acres for proprietary soybean varieties by 133 percent to approximately 7,000 acres, and launching a new yellow pea breeding and commercialization program.

Hazel Technologies

Overall Post Harvest Solution of the Year

Hazel develops new solutions to reduce food waste to improve the fresh produce supply chain. It also provides shelf-life extension technologies and services to combat the global food waste problem and improve profitability for its customers. Hazel’s® USDA-funded 1-MCP technology conditions the storage atmosphere to reduce respiration rate and increase resistance to ethylene, and works in a variety of storage conditions.

In April of this year the company closed a $70 million series C which they will use to supercharge their international expansion with the goal of achieving full commercial distribution in at least 15 countries by 2025. The company just announced a partnership with Miami based online tropical and exotic fruit store, Tropical Fruit Box to help them get fresh inventory to customer’s doorsteps unscathed.


Vertical Farming Solution of the Year

IGS makes platforms that deliver ideal climates for plants and people, based upon a culture of continuous innovation, brilliantly simple design and a refusal to accept conventional technical thinking. All of its products are modular to fit the available site or building, out of the box. Farms are capable of growing a wide range of crops, and the degree of automation can be designed to meet local needs. The company's Intelligent Grid lighting platform also supports other elements such as sensors and cameras. They can be installed, reconfigured or relocated on the fly according to the customer’s needs.

IGS has taken home a number of awards this year including the ​​Center of Excellence’s Indoor Agriculture’s ‘Best in Class’ award for the Best Indoor Production System (starting $500k and up), the Best New Product and Made in Scotland Award at the Made in Scotland Awards, and the ‘Growth and Scale’ prize at the Fieldays Innovation Awards. They also welcomed on board vertical farming specialist and industry veteran Gonçalo Neves to focus on business development opportunities as well as Sarah Willis, former Head of Finance Operations at Spirit Energy, for the role of Chief Financial Officer.


AI Based AgTech Solution of the Year

iUNU is transforming the way growers do business by harnessing the power of computer vision through its product offering, LUNA. The LUNA technology platform delivers a system of mobile and fixed cameras with high definition imaging and environmental sensors that measure and record everything down to the real-time growth rate of each plant. iUNU’s system gives growers the information they need to get ahead of the curve. By putting the plant at the center of everything we do, iUNU has delivered a solution that makes greenhouse growing a precise and predictable, data-driven, manufacturing operation.

Following their Series A fundraise last December, the company has continued to scale their LUNA platform to meet the growth of the greenhouse industry and recently acquired pest management company CropWalk, which develops pest and pathogen control programs. iUNU is advocating for the industry as well. CEO Adam Greenberg met with the US Ag Committee to discuss the critical importance of the CEA industry to promote food safety, nutritious produce, and food security for the American people.

Shenandoah Growers

Sunless Production System of the Year

Shenandoah Growers is leading the indoor agriculture revolution. As the only large scale USDA Certified Organic soil-based indoor growing system in the United States, Shenandoah Growers is passionate about leveraging cutting-edge science and technological innovation to ensure that customers receive the freshest, healthiest, most affordable organic produce possible year-round. With twelve growing locations across the country, the company is proud to provide organic, local produce to over 18,000 stores every day.

Shenandoah Growers just announced the addition of Matthew Ryan, former Chief Marketing Officer for Starbucks, Inc., as the company's next Chief Executive Officer, and Mike Buckley, most recently Senior Vice President of Business for Postmates, as the company's next Chief Financial Officer. They also broke ground on their next indoor farm in Anderson County. The new facility is anticipated to be operational by the second quarter of 2022 and will create 50 local and well-paying jobs.

2021 AgTech Breakthrough Awards

2021 AgTech Breakthrough Awards


Josie Lane

Art Director

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Josie Lane

Art Director

Introduce your team! Click here to add images, text and links, or connect data from your collection.

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