The agricultural start-up was recognized for its soil “probiotic” technology that addresses food security and climate change
Locus AG Wins NREL’s Industry Growth Forum 2020 Outstanding Venture Award
SOLON, Ohio (May 12, 2020) — Locus Agricultural Solutions® (Locus AG), an Ohio-based agtech start-up, received an Outstanding Venture Award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at its annual Industry Growth Forum (IGF). Investors and industry experts recognized the company for its soil probiotics and delivery system that boost agricultural yields and carbon sequestration while reducing costs and environmental impact.
Given to the top cleantech startups with an innovative technology, spirit and dedication, the award was based on four scoring criteria: Locus AG’s microbial technology branded under the Rhizolizer® and Terradigm™ lines, the global market opportunity and go-to-market strategy, its business model and team. The award prize includes global recognition, 40 hours of technical assistance from NREL’s Commercialization Assistance Program and up to $10,000 in pro bono legal assistance from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
“Locus AG was one of our three top scoring companies at this year’s IGF,” said NREL’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center Director Richard Adams. “The judges were impressed with both the company’s business model and the impact its agtech solution can make on sustainable farming.”
Rhizolizer and Terradigm can transform farms and managed turf from being sources of greenhouse gas emissions into engines for reversing them. Named Best New Biological Product of 2019, the organic-certified microbial soil amendments (“probiotics”) supercharge the natural ability of crops and sod to sequester carbon and increase productivity. The cost-effective treatments work by dramatically improving soil health and root growth, which maximizes nutrient uptake and makes crops more resilient.
“This was our first time at the prestigious IGF, and it was an honor to receive this year’s Outstanding Venture Award,” said Grant Aldridge, Locus AG’s CEO. “It’s one thing to have overwhelming demand for our technology for its ability to help address climate change and food security. But having prominent cleantech investors and industry experts validate its agronomic and environmental benefits lends indisputable market credibility that’s opening doors with potential investors.”
Locus AG was one of 40 cleantech startups that pitched innovative technologies and disruptive business solutions to a panel of judges. The startups were chosen from an international field of more than 150 companies that applied to pitch and be recognized as best in show.
“I had the pleasure of working with the exceptional team at Locus AG in the run up to the NREL IGF. Their Rhizolizer technology is an innovative, bio-based product that makes crops more resilient, profitable, and sustainable at a time when farms are under increasing duress–and it can be applied across a large swath of agricultural production,” said David Waserstein, founder and managing director of SOIL Funds. “It’s not surprising that the company won this year’s Outstanding Venture Award and I look forward to seeing what comes next.”
Used on tens of thousands of acres of varying crops across the United States, the technology has been verified to capture record amounts of carbon (up to 9 additional tons per acre), dramatically reduce nitrous oxide emissions from soil (up to 87%) and reduce fertilizer use while increasing yields (up to 40%) and farming income.
Farmers that use the technology and participate in the company’s CarbonNOW™ program—a Fast Company World Changing Ideas 2020 Awards finalist in the food category—can double or triple revenue. CarbonNOW monetizes climate-smart practices with payments coming directly from companies to offset their emissions or indirectly from carbon credits traded on agriculture-based exchanges including Nori’s carbon removal marketplace.
About Locus Agricultural Solutions®
Locus Agricultural Solutions® (Locus AG) is an agtech start-up that is helping to solve the interrelated challenges of climate change and food security. Its innovative, award-winning microbial soil “probiotics” technology and CarbonNOW™ program give farmers a new way to boost yields and income and sequester carbon while reducing operating costs and environmental impact. Locus AG gets its core scientific capabilities from its parent company, Locus Fermentation Solutions (Locus FS), an Ohio-based, globally recognized green technology company. For more information, visit LocusAG.com.