Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the agriculture sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising biostimulant startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Biostimulant Startups
For our 5 top picks, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 interesting examples out of 279 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
ONIT Sciences – Nano-Surfactant Additives
Nano-surfactants have highly charged surfaces that readily bind to plant cells. The non-specific binding impacts the properties of the cell surfaces and elicits a cellular response. At particular concentrations, nano-surfactants act as biostimulants and enhance the nutraceutical nature of crops. These additives work for all plants and all soil types since the binding is non-specific.
The US-based startup ONIT Sciences develops Organic Natural Input Technologies, their proprietary natural non-GMO biostimulants. Their biostimulant product, ONIT Grow, is a nano-surfactant additive made of the pure highly-activated source of organic matter carbon. It improves nutrient and oxygen absorption in both the soil and leaves. It stimulates the plant’s immune system and minimizes water requirements.
Beem Biologics – Protein Hydrolysates
Fertilizers are rich in nitrogen, one of the most crucial soil nutrients for plants, along with phosphorus and potassium. However, the nitrates and phosphates in fertilizers contaminate the groundwater and impact human health. Biostimulants such as protein hydrolysates improve nutrient intake and minimize the need for fertilizers. Hydrolysates are proteins broken into amino acids that affect plant metabolism.
The US-based startup Beem Biologics synthesizes proprietary plant extracts for use in crop fertility programs. Their patent-pending formulation, ISOPLEXTM, contains guayule extract, soy protein hydrolysates, and sulfates. When added along with fertilizers, it promotes plant vigor and nutrient uptake and enables the plants to make the most of their genetic potential.
Aminocore – Humic Acid
Humic acid is produced in decomposing organic matter and commercially extracted from compost sites. It acts as a biostimulant and improves the physicochemical properties of soil to favor growth. In particular, it increases the cationic exchange capacity (CEC) of the soil and enhances nutrient intake via the roots.
The Dutch startup Aminocore offers amino acid-based solutions for the agriculture industry. Their humic acid-based biostimulant, HUMICAL, improves the resistance of plants growing in high salinity or other extreme conditions by stimulating root building. It also contains chelated calcium that is delivered directly to the fruits and flowers.
Aphea.Bio – Microbial Biostimulants
Many bacterial and fungal species that live on the root surface and within roots actively assist plants in nutrient uptake. In recent years, omics technologies have rapidly advanced to enable the molecular-level study of interactions of bacteria with plants and soil. This knowledge allows researchers to select bacterial strains to maximize nutrient uptake for particular crops.
Aphea.Bio, a Belgian startup, identifies naturally occurring soil microbes that stimulate plant growth and health. They use soil science and genomics to determine soils and environments that harbor microbial strains of interest. Afterward, they isolate these strains using proprietary culturing methods and validate their potential using the Aphea.Bio screening platform. Lastly, they are ready for use in customized formulations that improve plant nutrient uptake.
South Agro – Seaweed
Seaweed is an inexpensive and abundantly available source of nutrition. It contains very high amounts of plant hormones and is an attractive raw material for the extraction of biostimulants. Moreover, the polysaccharides in seaweed form gel-like networks and are excellent at retaining water in plants.
The Italian startup South Argo develops seaweed-based solutions for agriculture. Their concentrated seaweed extract, ARGO +, is rich in phytohormones that stimulate plant growth. It contains alginic acid and mannitol, two substances that stimulate the absorption of meso- and micro-nutrients from the soil and improve resistance to osmotic stress, respectively.
What About The Other 274 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 5 biostimulant startups showcased above are promising examples out of 279 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.