AgLaunch Initiative Transforming Tennessee’s Rural Economy

Innovation in agriculture and the creation of new companies have the greatest potential to transform Tennessee’s rural economy. With the growing world demand for fuel, food and fiber, the state government plans on making Tennessee an agricultural innovation hub.

The seed funding initiative, AgLaunch, was developed by Memphis Bioworks Foundation as a strategy to expand both the agricultural and forestry industries in Tennessee’s economy. The funding of the initiative began in 2016 with a goal to attract 200 entrepreneurs and establish 100 valuable and investable agricultural firms in Tennessee by 2020.

The current AgLaunch365 program integrates startups and farmers in the AgLaunch Farmer Network. A six-week AgLaunch Phase I program will provide participants with business development support and conclude with the Farm Journal AgTech Expo in December 2018. Phase II will focus on prototyping and “getting field ready,” while Phase III will concentrate on accessing a network of innovative farmers and field trials.

With Tennessee’s agriculture and forestry sector being worth an estimated $66 billion, AgLaunch is a great initiative for growing the economy of rural Tennessee, with participants helping to inspire a culture of rural community startups. Entrepreneurs participating in this initiative will have plenty of opportunities to collaborate with farming experts and test their products.

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