Naama Barak
September 10, 2023

Founders of seven Israeli ag-tech companies looking to enter the lucrative United States market recently completed a six-week online immersion course coordinated by the America’s Cultivation Corridor program.

Sponsored by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Cultivo Virtual Academy enables global ag-tech innovators to learn from Iowa business, research, government and entrepreneurial leaders on subjects such as regulatory and financing systems and customer perspectives. The course includes roundtable discussions, Q&As and presentations.

Iowa is a logical place for Israelis to learn about the market because it is one of America’s primary farming states. It contains more than 88,000 farms, which have made Iowa the country’s No. 1 source of domestic corn, soybeans, pork and eggs. The state’s livestock farms raise cattle, hogs, turkeys, sheep, dairy cows, goats and poultry.

The seven Israeli participants included companies from various sectors of the ag-tech field.

These companies included:

  • Agrematch of Rehovot, which has an AI-based predictive platform for the discovery and development of bioactive compounds.
  • BugEra of Beersheva, which is building an insect genetics platform to develop new strains of the black soldier fly that could convert organic manure into biofuel.
  • DriftSense of Ramat Gan, which is developing a prediction tool to enable farmers to decide when to apply pesticide to their crops to help them do so in a more efficient and sustainable manner.
  • Fermata of Tel Aviv, which is developing computer vision solutions for outdoor and controlled environment agriculture, and just concluded a collaboration with Bayer Crop Science on a project to validate the feasibility of Fermata’s automated AI pest and disease detection platform, Croptimus.
  • PlantArcBio of Givat Hen, whose Direct-In-Plant (DIP) discovery platform is used to find and develop novel genes with positive effects on plants, such as yield improvement, drought resistance and herbicide and insects tolerance. PlantArcBio licenses these genes to large seed and crop protection companies.
  • ProJini of Tel Hai, which is developing pesticides with safe active ingredients to battle pesticide resistance and the threat to food supply.
  • Seed-X Technologies of Or Yehuda, which offers an AI-based seed analysis platform to maximize seed quality and value.

“The Cultivo Virtual Academy is the best investment a scaleup company can make as they develop a path to entering the US market,” said Billi Hunt, executive director of America’s Cultivation Corridor.

“Entering the US marketplace can be overwhelming, but Cultivo’s focused curriculum, networking and connections with Iowa’s researchers, business leaders and farmers provide the knowledge and introductions to successfully navigate market entry.”

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