Food resilience is a global problem and according to the UN, two-thirds of the global population will live in urban areas by 2050. Our ways of growing food must evolve and adapt to provide for our growing population and help address our modern cities’ more difficult challenges; the access, affordability, acceptability, and availability of fresh, healthy foods. To help pave the way for resilient growth, Atlanta is launching the IoT.ATL AgTech Challenge to help identify smart AgTech solutions for the future. Through technological innovations, our nation is experiencing a transformation of how we eat, produce and distribute food. The economic value of local and regional food sales is estimated to be nearly $12 billion, a 134% increase since 2008. In 2017, investments in the “AgTech” space reached $10.1 Billion and upward trajectory is expected.
On September 26th, Atlanta is launching the IoT.ATL AgTech Challenge, sponsored by the City of Atlanta, Invest Atlanta, Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Atlanta BeltLine, Georgia Power, and AGCO. Atlanta is calling for best in class startups to apply and provide innovative AgTech solutions that help foster food resilience via IoT technologies. The chosen startups will participate in a 12-month pilot focusing on collaborative AgTech solutions for urban agriculture. The challenge will identify six AgTech solutions to launch living labs on the Atlanta BeltLine, an anticipated 22+ mile loop of trails that connects 45 neighborhoods and hosted nearly 2 million visitors in 2017. The BeltLine is the largest economic infrastructure project in the country and provides an opportunity to test and validate innovative technologies supporting Atlanta's inclusive growth with an audience of millions.
With the 10th largest economy in the country, 18th largest in the world, and a population set to double by 2040, the city of Atlanta must prepare for a resilient food system. Home to 15 Fortune 500 companies, Atlanta is a hub of technological innovative workforce, a burning entrepreneurial spirit, and connected network geared to tackle the world’s toughest challenges. To become a leader in equity, inclusion, and resilience, Atlanta’s strategy is to design our systems to reflect our values.
The AgTech Challenge seeks to support and accelerate best-in-class urban agricultural technologies that successfully position food as a platform for health, economic development and cultural expression, creating co-benefits for all – particularly low-income residents and families. Winning applicants for this opportunity will define what agricultural products it intends to grow and what technology they will use, what other companies it will collaborate with, and incorporate one or more of the following considerations; community engagement and education, equity and inclusion, economic development, and innovative agricultural and IoT technologies.
Atlanta is looking for startup companies that address the following urban agriculture challenges:
Community Engagement and Education: Do you provide education, demonstrations, or training technology for future urban agriculture workers or consumers on food access and education?
Inclusion: Are you helping to address issues of food access for communities in and around the BeltLine?
Urban Economic Development: Does your solution help provide maximum productivity and output?
Future Farming and IoT Technology: Does your future farm technology provide solutions to energy, water, and fertilizer?
Other sustainability needs?
Does your company address another challenge to food access not listed? If so, Atlanta wants to hear about it!
Exact dates and additional details will be announced as we approach the AgTech Challenge launch.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
To help pave the way for resilient growth, the City of Atlanta is launching the IoT.ATL AgTech Challenge, and is calling for best in class startups to apply and provide innovative AgTech solutions that help foster food resiliency via IoT technologies. The AgTech Challenge will launch to identify six “Smart Ag” living lab solutions that will launch on the Atlanta BeltLine, an anticipated 22+ mile loop of trails that connects 45 neighborhoods and hosted nearly 2 million visitors in 2017. The City seeks to accelerate a business’ growth by creating the City of Atlanta’s Innovation Center supporting Demonstration Project partnerships to provide entrepreneurs an opportunity to beta test their products ideas by accessing City resources.
NOVEMBER 2, 2018
The AgTech Challenge seeks to support and accelerate best-in-class urban agricultural technologies that successfully position food as a platform for health, economic development and cultural expression, creating co-benefits for all – particularly low-income residents and families. Judges will evaluate all entries for adherence to this mission. As a part of this program, each winner will gain access to: a 12-month pilot with the City of Atlanta, 20-foot shipping container to test their urban agriculture technologies over the course of the 12-month period, access to Atlanta’s most valuable real estate with an audience of nearly 2 million visitors annually, and mentorship and hands-on support from City business leaders. Participating startup will cover the hard costs of implementing and managing the pilot.
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2018
The Selection Process will consist of a 2-part interview process. The initial interviews will be used to screen the applicants for program fit, business maturity, space requirements, and level of commitment to program. If the applicant is deemed a fit for the program, applicants will move to the final round of interviews with a committee made of subject matter experts and from the civic, corporate, and startup community in Atlanta. Judges will be ranking applicants on the following criteria: Readiness, Problem and Market Need, Solution, Innovation, Community Driven, and Founder/Business Model.
Winning applicants for this opportunity will define what agricultural product it intends to grow and what technology they will use, what other companies it will collaborate with, and incorporate the following considerations; community engagement and education, equity and inclusion, economic development, and innovative agricultural and IoT technologies. Winners will gain access to a 12-month pilot with the City of Atlanta located on the BeltLine, which has an audience of nearly 2 million visitors annually. Selected applicants will also receive mentorship and guidance from the Atlanta civic, corporate, and technology community during the course of the pilot.
EARLY FEBRUARY 2019
A highly publicized ribbon cutting will happen ahead of the 2019 Super Bowl. There will be a substantial PR / social media push for the event where all winners and partners are highlighted and promoted.
The containers housing the AgTech solutions will be painted by local students, studied by the educational/civic/business communities, and promoted by the project partners.
The Atlanta BeltLine is a sustainable redevelopment project that is transforming the city. It will ultimately connect 45 intown neighborhoods via a 22-mile loop of multi-use trails, modern streetcar, and parks – all based on railroad corridors that formerly encircled Atlanta. It is among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs currently underway in the United States.