Newswise — ST. LOUIS, MO, August 19, 2020  - The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center today announced the lineup of TableTalks, a series of conversations shaping the future of food that will follow each AgTech NEXTTM  conference session on Tuesdays, September 22 – November 10 from 1:30 – 2:15 PM.  TableTalks are complimentary but registration is required to attend. The series of TableTalks is sponsored by Posinelli and each session is hosted by an AgTech NEXT Partner.

Topics include:

SEPTEMBER 22, 1:30 - 2:15 PM CDT

IP Portfolio Building Strategies for Startups 

The protection of intellectual property is important for businesses of all sizes. This TableTalk will focus on IP portfolio building strategies for startups with an emphasis in patent strategy. This talk will be of particular interest to startups, inventors and investors.  Hosted by Thompson Coburn.


SEPTEMBER 29, 1:30 - 2:15 PM CDT

Reimagining Ag Retail 

An open, interactive discussion about ways farm supply cooperatives, retailers and independent service providers can deliver value to farmers through technology and innovation. Hosted by CoBank.

Farmers Finding Agtech Solutions 

Four Midwest farmers discuss their approach to finding and selecting AgTech for their operations. These farmers cross a range of ages, farm size, and tech experience. Each will give direct feedback on how and why technology fits their operation and how they find and select solutions. Perfect for startups and investors that need to hear the farmer point of view. Hosted by BioSTL.


OCTOBER 6, 1:30 - 2:15 PM CDT

Global Collaborations for Growth 

Greater competition globally is driving companies and communities into more direct confrontation and cooperation. Learn how St. Louis based 39 North and Cambridge, United Kingdom based AgriTechE are leveraging global agtech collaboration and what successful cooperation offers early-stage companies in both communities. Hosted by St, Louis Economic Development Partnership.



OCTOBER 13, 1:30 - 2:15 PM CDT

Agtech in STL: Why Then, Why Now? 

An interactive discussion about the evolution of the agtech ecosystem in the St. Louis region. We’ll look back at what drove significant investments over the last decade and we’ll look to the future to predict what will drive new momentum and continued growth. Hosted by Alliance STL.


OCTOBER 20, 1:30 - 2:15PM CDT

Post COVID - 19 Industry Insider Insights 

An open discussion about the latest Ag industry challenges and trends based on a survey of AgTech NEXT attendees. Hosted by Thompson Coburn.


OCTOBER 27, 1:30 - 2:15 PM CDT

The Partnership Playbook: What Corporate Innovation Teams Look for in Tech Company Partners 

With a growing number of agtech companies being incorporated every year, existing agribusinesses are inundated with opportunities. As a result, large agribusinesses must be thorough and selective when choosing who they work with. The DIA is KWS’s corporate innovation team focused on collaborations with startups and technology companies. As a guide, we’ll share our real-world framework that we use to evaluate strategic fit and the specific qualities we look for in innovation partners. Hosted by KWS.

Advancing a Carbon Zero Future for Agriculture 

Every investment in innovation should also be an investment in sustainability. By combining agricultural innovation with a business model that has sustainability at its core, we can – in line with our purpose – contribute to a carbon zero future for agriculture. Join us to discuss how Bayer is walking the talk with their Carbon Pilot Programs in the U.S. and Brazil. Hosted by Bayer CropScience.


NOVEMBER 10, 1:30 - 2:15 PM CDT

The Convergence of Agtech and Geospatial 

As the St. Louis region continues to establish leading positions in geospatial technology and agtech industries, what synergies exist between the two that are accelerating innovation and driving the next phase of industry growth? Hosted by Alliance STL.

Virtual AgTech NEXT been organized around the theme of Risks & Rewards featuring innovators, investors and industry experts. Conference sessions will be held from 12 – 1 PM CDT on Tuesdays, beginning September 22 with a keynote by Dr. Pat Brown, founder and CEO of Impossible Foods through November 10, with a break on November 3, election day. 

Experience all seven AgTech NEXT virtual conference sessions, EARLY BIRD TICKETS are $300.00 until August 24. Customize your participation with either 4-Sessions for $275.00, or 2 Sessions for $150.00. Click here to register


Speakers and Panelists:

Patrick O. Brown, Founder M.D. Ph.D., and CEO Impossible Foods

Jim Carrington, Ph.D., President, Danforth Plant Science Center

Chris Chinn, Director, Missouri Department of Agriculture

Matt Crisp, President and CEO, Benson Hill

Robb Fraley, Ph.D., Former CTO, Monsanto

Scott Bernard Fullen, Owner, Mid-South Family Farms

Ingrid Fung, Investor, Finistere

The Honorable Richard Gephardt, President and CEO, Gephardt Public Affairs

Brendan Johnson, Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Jake Joraanstad, Cofounder and CEO,Bushel

Claire Kinlaw, Ph.D., Director of Innovation Commercialization, Danforth Center

Sanjeev Krishnan, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director, S2G

Mao Li, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Danforth Center

Mick Messman, Chief Commercial Officer, Greenlight

Larry Page, Ph.D., Principal, Lewis and Clark AgriFood

Jobst von Petersdorff, Business Venture, KWS Group

Stephanie Regagnon, Executive Director Innovation Partnerships, Danforth Center

Orlando Saez, Cofounder & CEO, Aker Technologies, Inc.

Mary Shelman, Founder, The Shelman Group

Naveen Sikka, CEO, TerViva

Chris Topp, Ph.D., Associate Member, Danforth Center

Renée Vassilos, Agriculture Innovation Director, The Nature Conservancy

Bala Venkata, Ph.D. Cofounder, RNAissance Ag & Senior Research Scientist, Danforth Center

Tony White, Founder & CEO Tony’s Family Farms

Olga Yermolenko, Partner, OY Group

“COVID-19 has amplified the importance of innovation and the need for new approaches to delivering healthy food to consumers,” said Stephanie Regagnon, executive director of Innovation Partnerships at the Danforth Center. “Farmers are natural innovators and welcome technology that enables them to be productive, profitable and good stewards of their land. We are pleased to pivot to this new virtual format and offer a robust platform of content, as well as providing opportunities for attendees to network and connect, which has been the hallmark of our events.”

About the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center                                                                                                              Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research, education and outreach aim to have impact at the nexus of food security and the environment, and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter

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