Having just returned from my 5th trip to France, I thought I would share some takeaways after some reflection.
Although Paris has its charms, it was great to finally get out of Paris city limits and into French farm country. FARMWAVE was selected as one of the 2018 laureates for the AgriNEST accelerator program hosted by Business France. We were one of 10 companies selected to be introduced to key players (including buyers and partners in the agtech industry) and gain insights from the French government on doing business in their country.
Laureates included agtech-focused companies from the United States, Canada, and South Africa.
The first day was filled with insights on French business culture and how it differs from what we may experience in our own countries. The day started with meeting the Canadian ambassador and US Department of Commerce representatives. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to freely ask questions, meet other innovators, and discuss future possibilities of expanding our company’s reach into the French market.
The next couple of days were spent in the Burgundy region in Dijon, France. Burgundy is truly farm country and the wine capital of the world. Amid taking in some breathtaking sights, we had the chance to have some meaningful conversations with French farmers and hear from cooperatives. These were invaluable times to not only showcase our technology, but also understand the kinds of problems French farmers were facing and the type of solutions they were looking for.
The organization sponsors such as Agranov and Invivo proved to be valuable relationships in not only what would appear to be a growing tech and agriculture market in France, but as global players in food production as a whole. And for the laureates, this was no vacation. If we were not pitching or traveling we were at a conference and in constant meetings. I don’t think I would have it any other way.
Going through a program like this really makes you look at your own technology and see how you can further enable farmers around the world and influence other cultures and how they run their agriculture programs.
We had the opportunity to visit a facility that seemed to rival if not supersede the advances in phenotyping from that of other large companies such as Monsanto or Syngenta. Phenotyping was something FARMWAVE looked at integrating from a digital perspective early on in our development process.
The digital imagery such as the one seen here can begin the reporting process and comparative analysis in plant pathology as it goes from an early stage to full maturity. This facility is located at the Institute of National Research and Agriculture (INRA) in Dijon, France.
I am very excited about the work FARMWAVE is going to do with the INRA and using our artificial intelligence in the world of digital phenotyping.