A new statewide initiative “The Combine” seeks to support high growth entrepreneurs in food and agriculture. The program, housed at Nebraska Innovation Campus, has a broad spectrum of sponsors and supporters including Invest Nebraska, Nebraska Farm Bureau, and Nebraska Corn Board.
The program consists of support through mentorship, a capital readiness program, and networking events. It also offers incubation space on Innovation Campus and helps entrepreneurs secure financial assistance for product development, research, and product rollout. And, it can link entrepreneurs with venture capital or co-investors.
A unique element of the The Combine is The Insights Network which seeks to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and farmers and ranchers. The Insights Network wants to foster communication between entrepreneurs and producers on problems agriculture faces and needed solutions. The network also gives farmers and ranchers the opportunity to cooperate in pilot projects and field trials, or test software, hardware, specialty crops, or other technologies developed for production agriculture. If interested in joining the network, go to: https://nebraskacombine.com/insights
The overall goal of The Combine is to harvest and attract innovative agriculture companies in and to Nebraska. Nebraska’s broad market access, strong business environment, and talented workforce should be attractive to innovative companies in food and agriculture. Moreover, Nebraska’s unique climate, deep agricultural heritage, and strong agricultural education network should give it a comparative advantage for these innovative companies.