Growing new connections and exchange with a new AgTech Demo Day testpilot

What happens when you gather AgTech startups from across the globe and invite them to pitch their business idea to a team of diverse Lantmännen experts? A new Demo Day testpilot seeks to explore just that and build both exchange of knowledge and grow new connections that might just be the first step of a future partnership.

Last week, the first of three Lantmännen Demo Days took place. It was a digital event where four startups were invited to pitch their business ideas to Lantmännen - all related to a chosen themes within AgTech. “It’s truly a testpilot to exchange knowledge and ideas amongst our internal divisions, as well as with the rest of the world, to explore potential future collaborations,” Veronica Ehrström Eklöf, Project Manager, Group Fuctions R&D.

The first Demo Day theme was centered around application of image analysis on farm level. This is part of a bigger trend, where cameras and sensors along with AI can help automate various measurements, such as the growth and weight of pigs and chickens, or analyzing the behaviors and wellbeing of cows. “The world is changing, and that is something we need to recognize. The macro-trend is quite clear: with a camera and some sort of software, it is possible to draw conclusions around livestock growth and behavior,” Johan Wågstam, Digital Business Developer says. 

Every year, a great number of startups reach out to Lantmännen in the hopes of pitching. The Demo Days are an attempt to formalize a structure for startup relations, and is organized by Lantmännen’s Group R&D team in partnership with the Lantmännen Agriculture Sector.

So far for the 2022 testpilot run, a total of 12 startups have been invited to three separate opportunities to pitch their business ideas in 20 minute-sprints, followed by a Q & A session and brief evaluation. Business owners, experts within feed, feed optimization, feedsales, members from the research and development team, as well as experts in digitalization - all, in one way or another, connected to the future of farming - participated from Lantmännen. 


First impressions from all over the world

“I’m impressed with everyone’s effort. One startup called in from Australia, in the middle of the night (due to the time difference). The engagement during these two hours was great. At the end of the day that’s what we are looking for: high engagement and motivated business partners,” Veronica smiles. 

Aside from Australia, startups participated from Hungary, Denmark and Sweden. “The geographical spread of the participants says something about Lantmännen as well. I feel proud realizing that we truly are a globally recognized organization leaning into the future of agricultural innovation and development,” Johan says.


Exploring new synergies for the future

“Today was a lot about learning and exchanging knowledge. Next steps are for us to evaluate whether or not there’s a potential for future collaboration. The selection process is done on a case-by-case basis. It depends on the startup, their needs, and our needs. It’s all about finding the right synergies,” Veronica explains. 

Furthermore, the Demo Day concept will evolve. There are two more sessions to come, both with an AgTech theme, taking place after the summer. “We want to support great ideas, whether that’s with us, or facilitating for others across the value chain,” Johan concludes. 

Want to know more about other collaborations with startups?
Check out the previous stories on the Greenhouse blog. 

Curious to learn more about the Demo Day concept?
Veronica Ehrström Eklöf