Emergence client, SomaDetect, selected for Ag Innovation Showcase: one of “22 transformative early stage ventures”

September 12, 2017

Fredericton, New Brunswick-based Emergence client, SomaDetect, was recently one of “22 transformative early-stage companies from four countries” selected to participate in the 2017 Ag Innovation Showcase, which took place September 11-13, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.

SomaDetect LogoSomaDetect went to the Showcase fresh off a win at Communitech’s Fierce Founders Pitch Competition, which hosted female founders to develop business skills for their startups. Read more about that success here!

SomaDetect is a precision-dairy company that is creating an in-line system for measuring the two most critical indicators of dairy-quality: somatic cells and fat content. It connects farmers with every cow and enables early diagnosis of problems than might arise.

Presenting companies showcased their innovations in the areas of precision agriculture, robotics and big data, pathogen and disease control, biologics, processing technology, and alternative food systems deigned to address a range of challenges in global agriculture. You can check out the official announcement here!


Bethany Deshpande, CEO of SomaDetect

The Ag Innovation Showcase, which focuses on the convergence of agriculture and technology, has proven to be a valuable experience for startups in the agtech sector. Since inception, 150 industry technologies have been vetted and many have garnered the attention of investors. Since 2009, $510 million in capital has been raised by presenting companies.

A panel of judges selected the presenting companies from a competitive field of 63 applicants based on their ability to positively disrupt agriculture in six sectors: Ingredients & Markets, Decontamination & Disease Detection, Beneficials and Biologics, Genetics, Forecast & Visualization, and Recovery of Inputs.

Four of the participating agtech companies were founded by women: including SomaDetect.


Ingredients & Markets:

  • Bonumose Biochem, LLC– Produces sweet ingredients that lack the same negative health consequences of traditional sugar, while significantly reducing production costs.
  • Aspire Food Group– Uses robotics, IoT and automation to farm insects that have a similar protein quality to meat and environmental footprint of plants. Fully-automated and modular technology can be scaled to any size in any geography.
  • Budgeter Foods– Food products with improved nutrition value containing insect protein powders.

Decontamination & Disease Detection:

  • SnapDNA– Develops low cost, rapid, high throughput, genetic analysis for seeds and pathogens. For food safety, SnapDNA can eliminate 3-day test/hold with projected 2-hour total time-to-result pathogen analysis, elevating supply chain transparency, providing quantitative, strain specific results for rapid identification, isolation, and eradication of pathogen contamination in food production.
  • NanoGuard– A new non-thermal pasteurization technology for grain, fresh produce, spices and other food articles to reduce losses and improve the safety, wholesomeness and security of our food.
  • SomaDetect– A precision-dairy company that is creating an in-line system for measuring the two most critical indicators of dairy-quality: somatic cells and fat content. It connects farmers with every cow and enables early diagnosis of problems than might arise.

Beneficials and Biologics:

  • 3Bar Biologics Inc.– Biologics microbial inoculant delivery system, Bio-Yield, stabilizes beneficial microbial preparations improving their efficacy on farm, shelf-life, and ease of application and also expanding the types of microbes available for commercialization.
  • NovoBind Livestock Therapeutics, Inc. – Cost-effective feed additives that function as alternatives to antibiotics. Their products specifically target and neutralize specific pathogens like Salmonella, from livestock.
  • Amebagone Inc.-Natural biocontrol agents of bacterial pathogens of plants to control invasive and destructive bacterial diseases naturally, without spraying antibiotics or copper, which have limited effectiveness and can be toxic to crops.
  • Bee Vectoring Technologies– Turns bees into delivery agents for mixtures of biological inputs for crop pest management.
  • Bee Flow – Strengthening bees immune system can counteract bee fitness failure in winter and teach bees to be more efficient while pollinating specific crops. To date, the innovation has been applied to sunflower, almonds, apples, pears and blueberries; and has been tested for more than 5 years with an average increase of crop yields of 15 – 20%.


  • Agribody Technologies, Inc.– Genetic modification (GM) or genome editing (GE) technology delays onset of plant senescence, while increasing resistance to diseases and sub lethal stresses such as drought, heat, cold, salt, low nutrients and crowding in many key crop plants.
  • New West Genetics– Ensures stable genetics, optimizes desirable traits, and leads the industry as the first commercial organization to adapt cannabis for sustainable and large-scale production in the U.S.
  • Accelerated Ag Technologies, LLC– PowerPollenSM enables hybrid crops through cross pollination. The novel pollen handling process decreases the need for multiple resource processes in seed production and increases yield and seed genetic integrity.

Data Market: Operations:

  • iVache– A cloud based software that gathers and aggregates daire and cattle farm operations data, providing a solution to enable sustainable operations. Farmers can evaluate in real time their technical and economic efficiency, benchmark results, provide traceability into the food chainand predict future performance.
  • Farmin– A dual innovation in infrastructure and data collection. A wireless communication network capable of transmitting data more than 2 km with low energy consumption, and functional regardless of internet connectivity. An initial self-weighing system for cattle monitoring, automatically weighs individual animals each time they drink water.
  • Sencrop– A web and mobile-based platform that connects to in-field sensors and aggregates data to enable farmers to: view in-field ag-weather conditions in real time, access or push alerts and decision-making tools, simplify communication.

Forecasts & Visualization:

  • Climate Forecast Applications Network, LLC– AgriCast, integrates meteorological forecast information, crop specific forecasts, yield/development models and web-based interactive decision tools. It has the potential to change the current dynamics of the agricultural sector through reducing yield loss and disaster payouts, reducing on-farm resource use, stabilizing food and input prices, making commodities trading more profitable and supporting long-term investment strategies.
  • Visual Farms, LLC – Improves farm profitability and sustainability by providing independent machine learning systems to farms with algorithms that match optimal hybrids from virtually the entire available market to each farm’s growing conditions and over time, become farms’ Machine Learning system
  • Wisran– Identifies operation logistic inefficiencies in real-time for growers to capture profits.

Recovery of Inputs:

  • Renix Inc.– Delivering excellence in Ion Exchange, Renix provides innovative and integrated solutions for agricultural and industrial liquid purification and recovery of valuable solids
  • Compact Membrane Systems– CMS has developed technology to enable gas separation and purification with lower CapX, greater flexibility, lower energy consumption, and less environmental impact for a variety of industrial feedstocks. Serve a growing need, serve the future to open up separations at lower CapX, provide modular flexibility, serve variety of feedstocks, gaseous inputs and outputs.

About the Ag Innovation Showcase:

Established in 2009 the Ag Innovation Showcase is the world’s premier event focusing on the convergence of agriculture and technology. It brings together those with a significant stake in agriculture and agricultural technology – innovators, researchers, government agencies, corporations, investors and others – to promote investment in cutting-edge technology and biotechnology to meet the world’s growing food supply needs.