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Winners chosen in THRIVE-Bayer Sustainability Challenge


Winners of the three categories of the 2021 THRIVE | Bayer Sustainability Challenge have been named. They were Haystack in the Sustainable Startup Award, MagGrow in the Sustainable Scaleup Award, and AgroCognitive with the People’s Choice Award.

The THRIVE | Bayer Sustainability Challenge aims to identify and support key start up and scaleup innovators in implementing solutions that promote sustainability. In partnership with SVG Ventures and Bayer, the collaborative is working to reduce the environmental impact of crop protection, reduce field greenhouse gas emissions, and empower smallholder farmers to access sustainable agricultural solutions.

The THRIVE | Bayer Sustainability Challenge combines Bayer Crop Sciences’ sustainability commitments and THRIVE’s Global Initiative focus on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to promote innovations that can address pressing challenges in the global agrifood chain.

More on the winners here:

  • Haystack: This U.S.-based company enables carbon market scalability by helping farmers and carbon markets quantify carbon accurately and cost-effectively. Haystack will receive a prize package that includes investment from SVG Ventures and a place in THRIVE’s award winning Accelerator Program, in addition to access to Bayer’s investment and R&D teams.
  • MagGrow: Their technology helps farmers significantly reduce waste and drift linked to conventional crop spraying, delivering optimal plant protection using permanent rare earth magnets. As a winner, MagGrow will have the opportunity to explore a proof-of-concept pilot project with Bayer, receive automatic nomination for THRIVE’s TOP 50 listing, and gain access to Bayer resources and THRIVE’s ecosystem.
  • AgroCognitive: This is an automated and affordable precision agriculture platform that gives insights to farmers.

“Initiatives like this demonstrate the entire industry’s commitment to shaping a sustainable future for agriculture, and collaboration is key to making this future a reality and unlocking new possibilities for more productive and efficient farming,” said Bob Reiter, Head of Research and Development at the Crop Science division of Bayer.

Ten finalists, including six startups and four scaleups, were selected from a pool of around 300 applicants across 57 countries—two from Australia and one each from Argentina, Costa Rica, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, UK, and the U.S. Each finalist pitched to an expert judging panel featuring representatives from Bayer’s Crop Science division, Leaps by Bayer impact investment team, Yamaha Motor Ventures, and Cargill.

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