AgriTech competition winner embraces Farm491 membership

The winner of the 2019 Agri Innovation Den competition, William Pelton from Phytoform Labs Ltd, has taken up his 12-month membership of Farm491 to help boost his crop technology business. The membership was part of a developmental prize worth £40,000, which included print and advertising in the Farmers Guardian, a PR and marketing package, exhibition space at CropTec & LAMMA, and 12 months free membership with the AgriTech incubator and innovation space, Farm491.

The competition, supported by BASF and Farm491, is designed to showcase new developments in agricultural technology, giving them a platform to facilitate their growth. Phytoform Labs fought off stiff competition, impressing the judging panel with their revolutionary technology that will shake up crop development to tackle some of farming’s biggest challenges.

William Pelton, co-founder of the winning company, has taken on the prize membership and will be utilising the access to events, connections and one-to-one support available. He commented, “I believe the Farm491 membership will arm Phytoform Labs with the tools to elevate the business to the next level. We want to change the way crops are bred for agriculture and we are using next generation data science to discover and implement these new traits using footprint free genome editing. We are doing this to solve problems now and in the future, making agriculture more sustainable and improving the nutrition of crops for consumers. Our vision is a design led approach to develop new crops that are built to the specifications of the user and consumer.  

“I believe we have a technology than can make a real difference, and hope with Farm491’s help, they can help us launch a product in to the market successfully, that will help inform public perception, and scale up the business from there.

“In the next year, whilst our new membership is active, we aim to achieve some major milestones. We will be attending the Hello Tomorrow and World Agri-Tech Innovation summit in March, demonstrating our novel trait discovery technology in June, trialling our first product, an improved tomato, in September, and starting our seed round fundraising in December. We have a busy year ahead and we are thrilled to have Farm491’s support!”

Sarah Carr, Farm491 Innovation Specialist, comments, “We are so pleased to have Phytoform Labs on board, they have a fantastic product and a phenomenal vision for producing food in a sustainable way to feed a growing population. We are confident we can provide the right support to get this technology in to the market.”