UPL, Radicle Growth launch challenge to fund startups advancing biological plant protection solutions

UPL, Radicle Growth launch challenge to fund startups advancing biological plant protection solutions

UPL, a global provider of agriculture products and solutions, and Radicle Growth, a company-building platform investing in early-stage agriculture and food technologies, have announced, “The Radicle Natural Plant Protection (NPP) Challenge by UPL”. The challenge sets out to invest US $1.75M in startup companies that are advancing natural and biological solutions to protect crops from biotic stresses such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects, arachnids, and weeds. This is the second such challenge that follows ‘The Radicle Carbon and Soil Challenge by UPL’ which saw US $1.25M invested in early-stage companies in 2022.

NPP is a business unit of UPL, offering growers an extensive portfolio of natural solutions to increase crop resilience and protection, improve nutrition, and support soil health. Over the past decade, there has been a growing demand for natural solutions as an alternative or complement to synthetic chemistries as means of protecting crops whilst safeguarding the environment.

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Mike Frank, CEO of UPL Corporation said, “Amidst the multitude of challenges facing farmers and food systems, natural solutions are critical to advancing agriculture in a way that delivers prosperity for growers, consumers, and the environment. Guided by our OpenAg purpose, we’re thrilled to be working with Radicle Growth to seek out startups that are pioneering the next generation of game-changing solutions. We invite entrepreneurs who share our aspirations to apply and join our journey to Reimagine Sustainability.”

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Kirk Haney, Managing Partner, Radicle Growth, said, “Feeding our growing population is of utmost importance. We recognise that to transform our agriculture system and advance sustainable solutions in the food value chain; we need to find new technologies that are working on natural and biological control solutions. We are excited to work collaboratively with UPL to find and fund the best entrepreneurs worldwide who are solving these issues.”

A US $1 million investment will be made in the challenge winner and a US $750,000 investment in the second-place winner in order to accelerate their growth.

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