Agriculture: An Uber Moment For Entrepreneurs

Agriculture: An Uber Moment For Entrepreneurs

As Uber and Lyft have demonstrated, there are huge opportunities in applying new-fangled technologies to traditional industries. Entrepreneurs do not even have to necessarily have domain expertise. Hey, Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick had no background in the taxi industry – other than he disliked the customer experience!

So then what are some other categories that are ripe for disruption? Well, one to consider has actually been around from the beginning of civilization – that is, agriculture.

“We are at the doorstep of a new era in agriculture that will accelerate innovation and empower more innovators,” said Matthew Crisp, who is the co-founder and CEO of Benson Hill Biosystems. His firm is focused on cloud biology, which involves the intersection of big data analytics, cloud computing and biological expertise to address significant global issues like drought tolerance of crops or enhancing nutritional value. Crisp has raised roughly $10 million in venture capital and his firm is in the early stages of generating revenues.

Before launching this venture, he served as an executive of Intrexon Corporation (NYSE:XON), a leading synthetic biology company. Oh, and he was also a managing partner at a venture fund, where he made investments in life science and tech companies.

In other words, Crisp has a pretty good understanding of where the agtech market is moving. In fact, I recently had a chance to talk to him to get his thoughts on how entrepreneurs can capitalize on the opportunities:

Enormous Market: This week, Bayer approached Monsanto MON -0.27% for a potential merger, which would result in a combined entity with about $67 billion in annual revenues. So yes, the market for agtech is massive.

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