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  • What areas of innovation is GroundBreakers sourcing?
    GroundBreakers is especially interested in the following areas. We call these our Areas of Interest: CEA Controlled Environment Agriculture, also known as "vertical” or “indoor farming”, including specialty and commodity (row) crops, and mycoculture Alternative Proteins plant based, cellular, cultured, microbial, algae Precision Fermentation biotech based foods, biofoundries, biofuels, biomaterials, biopharma Regenerative Agriculture soil health, microbiome, cover crops, perennials, circular growing systems (inputs, recycling, upcycling), carbon capture and economies, agrivoltaics, manure tech, water tech, etc. Sustainable Animal Protein Aquaculture, insect protein, regenerative practices within the poultry, swine, beef, dairy, and seafood production systems Digital Transformation of Ag/Food System IoT, precision farming, remote sensing, AI, ML, decision support, risk mitigation, food system resiliency, new value creation, Web3, blockchain, SaaS, apps, autonomous farming, supply chain transparency and interoperability, retailtech, distribution tech, producer tech Food/Nutrition Customization at Scale food printing, functional ingredients, decentralized production/distribution, personalization at scale tech
  • What kind of funding and support does GroundBreakers offer?
    GroundBreakers offers non-dilutive grants of $10,000 (US) or more to early stage innovators who respond to GroundBreakers funding opportunities. Non-dilutive means we don’t take a share of ownership of your technology, nor do we demand intellectual property rights or control over what you are doing. Rather, we fund your work via what we call an Impact Readiness Project to help you develop your technology while letting us share what you’re doing with others who can learn from you.
  • How does an Impact Readiness Project work?
    GroundBreakers will identify opportunities in one of our Areas of Interest where we believe innovators can make significant contributions. After discussing these Areas of Interest with our corporate members and other stakeholders, we will issue a Call for Insights report to the innovators in our database (CLICK HERE TO BE INCLUDED) and our large network of Affiliate organizations. As we identify potential projects within these Areas of Interest, we will identify a potential project for funding and set aside funds. Some of our members and advisors may elect to provide in-kind services like marketplace or industry data, make subject matter experts available, or offer use of their facilities or resources. Projects that have been identified for funding will be shared with the innovators in our database, our affiliate network, and via social media. Each project will have a clear goal. Some examples include: study a promising phenomenon to create data for prototyping, build a product prototype, demonstrate a prototype in a controlled setting, further develop an existing product, create a market analysis of an emerging area, or assess the success of in-market activities. GroundBreakers funding can be all or just part of the funding the innovator plans to raise . The application will be simple, and will include questions about the team, the technology, use of funds, plans to collaborate, what the community can learn from the innovation, and similar questions. Groundbreakers will select some of the proposals from #1 to dive deeper into - meaning we will contact you, assess your fit for the funding, rank how much we think we can help you, and possibly contact you to ask clarifying questions. Following an internal discussion, we will make a funding offer using an innovator-friendly project agreement Once agreed, funds will be disbursed as milestones are completed. Members of the Groundbreakers team will participate in progress sessions with you to offer suggestions and feedback as the project advances. When the project is completed, a post-project review of the innovation proposed, how it went, and what others can learn from the project will be published and shared.
  • How much information does the innovator need to share with Groundbreakers? Who else will see the information that is shared?
    Groundbreakers respects the privacy of the innovator and understands the need to keep information secure. Innovators build on each others’ work, so to help innovators and the Groundbreakers team move quickly and learn from each other, we do not use Non-Disclosure Agreements. Innovators should share as little or as much information as they would like. It might be helpful to think of this opportunity as similar to speaking at an industry event where innovators are sharing information and building relationships. Groundbreakers will clearly state in all our requests for information how the information will be used so that innovators can determine what they wish to share.Groundbreakers will never share individual contact information.
  • How does Groundbreakers work with like minded organizations to support innovators?
    As a non-profit, Groundbreakers works with funding organizations and corporations in order to prioritize areas of opportunity and provide the funding and resources innovators need. Organizations that are interested in being a part of an innovation ecosystem like Groundbreakers can contact us to discuss the options. Groundbreakers identifies innovators through a large “Affiliate Network” of research centers, accelerators, incubators and industry groups. Affiliates have access to some of the data we collect though our member/affiliate portal. We also host regular Affiliate meetings where information on industry trends and innovator support needs are discussed at no charge to non-profit Affiliates. Affiliates may participate in these activities to ensure innovators in their area are represented in projects that the Groundbreakers organization funds and publishes. If you want to learn more about becoming an affiliate organization, please contact us to discuss the options.
  • Does GroundBreakers invest in startups?
    Over time, GroundBreakers may invest in some of the startups we work with starting at the pre-seed level. As funds become available for investing, we will reach out to the innovators in our network. If you are interested in the Yield Lab Institute as an equity investor, make sure you’re in our Innovator Database (CLICK HERE TO GET ADDED).
  • How can individuals volunteer their time to help the innovators Groundbreakers is serving?
    We use a large network of mentors, technical advisors, entrepreneurs and founders, commercialization and business leaders/advisors, and others to help us identify areas to explore, frame opportunities in ways innovators can respond to, assess evaluate applications, and support the innovators in their projects. If you are qualified and interested in being of service in a vibrant network, please contact us to discuss the options.
  • What are the benefits of being in the Groundbreakers Database?
    Innovators need funding, but the Groundbreakers Database provides more than just access to funding. By including their information in the database, innovators can find information about how their work fits in a rapidly changing world, receive recognition from the network, and validate their ideas so that investors, agrifood stakeholders, and early adopters find them trustworthy. Inclusion in the Groundbreakers Database is at no cost to you as an innovator. By joining, you’ll receive: Notification of funding in the area you are addressing as it becomes available. Analysis from our advisors and members that allows you to see how you and other innovators in ag and food fit in with and stack up against each - valuable insight as you build a product/service and company Inclusion in summaries of innovators in key areas in scouting reports and market maps we produce and publish - all assets you can share with potential funders, team members, business partners, and customers.
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