news 13.6.2023

Agriculture attracts investors: “Underground weathermen” won Kaski2023

The first AgriVenture Finland event ever in June 7-8, 2023 brought together more than 260 participants from ten countries, representing startups, SME’s, scaleups, corporations, investors, business angels, developers, universities, R&D institutes, educational organisations and primary producers with a common denominator – the sustainable food chain - in the endeavor to speed the uptake of sustainable technologies in agri-food systems. 

Field and computer graphics

Kaski2023 Pitching Competition for Start-ups was organised as a part of AgriVenture Finland. Theme of the competition was Start-ups as engines for Sustainable Food & AgriTech Solutions. The winner of the contest was Soil Scout, a Finnish scale-up company that provides an advanced and cost-efficient soil monitoring solution for professionals in agriculture and other related sectors. Soil Scout is the first-ever soil sensor system that allows the farmer to place any number of fully buried wireless sensors all across an area, enabling real-time underground weather information for farmers. 

The chance to present ideas to investors and business angels, as well as potential customers, attracted 38 applicants. After prequalification, 23 start-ups were invited to the event to give their first pitches, and after a rigorous selection process by the Jury, 11 best teams qualified to the final round. 

The jury was led by Annukka Mickelsson, President Emerita at Finnish Business Angels Network FiBAN. “We were most excited about the clarity of the value proposition that the winning team had. Their solution is easy to understand, ready for markets – and a huge technology step forward.”  

The winning team was extremely happy of their success, and very satisfied with the AgriVenture event altogether. “Especially I would like to thank the jury for the whole process, and being very precise even about the details”, says Sales Director Bahman Doaeian of Soil Scout.  

“Now we want to get more clients and partners, increasing the value of delivering soil data to farmers”, continues Soil Scout’s Undergound Weatherman Miiro Jääskeläinen. “And of course, we want to help the world save water and make the soils better by helping farmers get the information they need.” 

The event was organised at the Bioeconomy Campus, Saarijärvi, Central Finland. As side event was Valtra Sustainability Day. “Our visitors’ feedback has been really good”, says Event manager Gilbert Ludwig. “They appreciated the high level of speakers and start-ups, and the high-quality pitching competition. The location was seen as excellent, authentic environment – very different from exhibition centers! I was really glad to hear that our visitors already look forward to the next AgriVenture.” 

“The event reached excellently its goals in numbers of visitors as well as an international event, which was also appreciated by investors taking part in the event. Targeted in smart farming helped the participants to find common ground easily and building quality contacts”, continues Minna Lappalainen, Director of the Institute of Bioeconomy. 

AgriVenture Finland 2023 was organized by Jamk University of Applied Sciences’ Institute of Bioeconomy, together with Valtra, Local Tapiola, POP bank, Rural Network Finland, MTK, Lantmännen Agro, Agco Power, Krinova Incubator & Science Park, Finest Future, Concilio, Kasvu Open, European Business Angels Network, Finnish Business Angels Network, Loihde Advance, Poke Vocational School, Regional Council of Central Finland and European Regional Development Fund. 

Further information

Gilbert Ludwig

Johtava asiantuntija, Chief Specialist
Biotalousinstituutti, Institute of Bioeconomy
Teknologia, School of Technology