North Carolina, and the Triangle in particular, has quietly blossomed into a hotbed of startups that are applying cutting-edge technology to agriculture.
The state is home to at least 50 entrepreneurial agricultural technology companies, with 28 of those companies based in the Triangle, according to data compiled by the nonprofitCouncil for Entrepreneurial Development.
“I think when people think about ag biotech and ag biotech startups, they think about really three geographies: here in North Carolina, St. Louis, Mo., and UC-Davis near Sacramento, Calif.,” said Scott Johnson, vice president of agricultural biotechnology at the state-fundedN.C. Biotechnology Center.
Comparing the size of these startup clusters, Johnson added, is problematic “because everybody talks about ag biotech with a little bit different definition.”
Indeed, CED talks about ag tech companies while the Biotech Center focuses on ag biotech companies, which it defines as applying the tools of biotechnology “to crops, livestock, forestry and marine life to produce more food, fuels, fiber and goods.”
Whichever way you cut it, the Triangle’s crop of entrepreneurial companies in this sector runs the gamut from A to Z – AgBiome to Zoion Pharma.