Report: Triangle ranks 10th globally for agtech, food tech ecosystem – here’s why

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The Research Triangle earned a spot among the world’s best startup ecosystems for agricultural technology and new food companies, according to a comprehensive report compiled by Startup Genome.

The report, The Global Startup Ecosystem Report: Agtech & New Food Edition, ranked the Research Triangle region 10th globally, and the sixth best ecosystem in the United States.

It’s the latest top 10 ranking for a sector of the Triangle’s economy such as life science and technology talent.

According to the report’s key findings, the region outperformed in this sector of the startup ecosystem compared to its ranking of 36th overall in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021.

That’s because of the region’s strengths in talent, experience, and past performance in the agricultural and new food sectors, the report notes.

The region scored a perfect 10 in the ranking report’s metrics pertaining to knowledge and focus, and a 7 of 10 for talent, according to the report.  And there’s room to grow even stronger in this sector of the economy, some believe.

North Carolina’s strengths are in the life sciences and in agriculture, Karen LeVert, a venture partner at Pappas Capital, told WRAL TechWire earlier this month.  But while we talk more about the life sciences, said LeVert, it is agriculture that is North Carolina’s top source of revenue.

“I feel we’re at the precipice of being a nationally renowned agtech hotbed,” LeVert said.  Earlier this year, CED showcased the agtech ecosystem and the region’s food startups at CED Venture Connect.  And Pappas Capital is working with SAS to advance agtech in the state, WRAL TechWire previously reported.


“Researchers that were once more interested in biotech/biomedicine [are] recognizing food is a clean label method to pursue bioactive compounds with, in some cases, fewer regulatory hurdles to enter the market,” said Aimutis, director of the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab, a program of North Carolina State University that is based in Kannapolis.

Aimutis told WRAL TechWire that the state is recognizing its potential, and even the General Assembly has been engaged in efforts to bolster the sector of the state’s economy.

That includes the Food Innovation Lab, which works with entrepreneurs and multinational food companies in the plant-based food space to offer new products and manufacturing methods, Aimutis said.  The NC Food Innovation Lab launched in 2018.

“We often assist start-ups from further differentiating their ideas and products to pilot plant production and follow that through with identifying potential contract manufacturers to mass produce new products,” said Aimutis.  “We have often in the past year actually been present with our customers at pre-production runs in contract manufacturers and been present for first production runs. This makes us unique amongst our peers and competitors.”

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire