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Venture capital key to agbioscience industry growth


scientistIncreasing venture capital is one of the most critical requirements in advancing agbioscience, says the Minnesota Agbioscience Strategy report by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice. AURI’s Rod Larkins shared this opportunity and its potential impact on economic growth with the Gophers Angel Network–a network of accredited investors seeking to invest capital and expertise in early stage Minnesota businesses. “A venture capital community dedicated to and focused on opportunities in agriculture will have a very significant impact on our ability to establish and retain leadership in this critical industry,” says Larkins.

“Ag technology is a tremendous area of opportunity and traditional venture capital firms are typically not equipped to understand or capitalize upon it,” explains Brad Saeger, business developer with Ag Ventures Alliance. “Since our members are farmers, they realize benefits to their rural communities from participating in ag technology ventures beyond just the potential to earn a return. A vibrant revitalized rural economy is an important core value to Ag Ventures Alliance.

“Minnesota inventiveness, both public and private, in all areas of agricultural technologies – from crop development to animal raising – is strong and presents a number of very promising early stage investment opportunities,” says Doug Fisher of Acala Partners. “Not only are they good investments, fostering these technologies will benefit the economy, the environment, and farmers and consumers, both local and global.  We look forward to working with AURI and other key stakeholders to build a strong and knowledgeable agricultural venture investment community to support the goals set out in the Minnesota Agbioscience Strategy report.”