Together, Ag Startups Challenge the Status Quo

Inari CEO Ponsi Trivisvavet was featured on a panel of leaders who are launching innovative business models in agriculture. Read on for what was discussed at the World Food Prize 2018 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Rise to the challenge. It’s in our DNA at Inari, and it was also the theme of the Borlaug Dialogue at this year’s World Food Prize. I was thrilled to participate with fellow agriculture startup leaders, as we spoke about our roles in rising to the challenges facing agriculture today and in the future.

Over the past few years I’ve watched agriculture evolve. There has been revolution. Startups are beginning to disrupt the agriculture industry by challenging current innovations, systems and technologies.. Investors are looking at startups to bring in fresh ideas and create noticeable impact. Today, startups need to prove that they can contribute to a winning food system in order to gain the support they need. Before even being granted funding, the question on investors’ minds is, what challenges are startups working to solve?

Yet, funding is just the beginning. Talent is equally as important. People want meaning and purpose in their careers. For too long, agricultural innovation was stifled and dominated by a few, with a lack of fresh thinking and focus on the future. Business is no longer a siloed approach; it’s a cross-functional collaboration. Inari is comprised of talent from inside and outside industry. Our 65-member team at Inari spans disciplines that range from life sciences and medical research to data science, software engineering, and of course agronomy.

Inari’s larger mission to create a winning food system echoes through my head each and every day. I think that’s true of our entire team. But we know it can’t be done alone – partnership and collaboration are so important to driving change. We’ve created an environment where we encourage one another and welcome competition and new blood because we understand the value of these collaborative relationships in fostering growth and new ideas.

Unconventional, out of the box ideas and diverse backgrounds are what will ultimately create a winning food system.