Checkoff News

Soy Innovation Challenge Winners Deliver Next-Generation Ag Technologies

Game-changing innovations will disrupt soy value chain with the intent to keep farmers at the forefront of profitability.

ST. LOUIS (March 3, 2021) — The Yield Lab Institute, in partnership with the United Soybean Board (USB), Syngenta, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the ICL Group, is proud to announce the winners of the Soy Innovation Challenge. Seven finalists were selected from nearly 90 worldwide applicants. These trailblazing ag-tech startups and teams offered solutions across a wide range of specialized fields, ranging from land stewardship and greenhouse gas monitoring to blockchain, traceability advancements and detailed nutritional information.

The challenge delivered game-changing technologies designed to disrupt the current soybean value chain to create increased profitability for U.S. soybean farmers. A total of $220,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the winners, along with in-kind cloud computing technical service credits and entrepreneurial networking and business coaching.

The cash prize winners announced at the Commodity Classic 2021 are:

  • Regrow (formerly FluroSat) – Provides full crop-cycle analytics for sustainable and profitable agriculture – Grand Prize Winner awarded $100,000.
  • Ecosystem Services Market Consortium – Launching a national ecosystem services market to provide farmers with compensation for the economic and social benefits from their land stewardship practices – 1st Runner-Up awarded $60,000.
  • SoilMetrics – Provides software services for farmers to understand current greenhouse gas emissions and evaluate options for reducing them – 2nd Runner-Up awarded $40,000.
  • Genesis Feed Technologies – Platform that increases the market value of U.S. soybeans across the supply chain by revealing the economic impact of their high-quality nutritional profile – 3rd Runner-Up awarded $20,000.

The winner of the AWS in-kind cloud computing technical service credits awards also announced at Commodity Classic 2021 are:

  • SoilMetricswinner of $25,000 in-kind AWS credits
  • SLUCodewinner of $10,000 in-kind AWS credits
  • The New Forkwinner of $10,000 in-kind AWS credits

“The soy checkoff is committed to supporting these partnerships to give farmers access to new technology and information they need to make the best decisions for their farms,” said USB’s Past Chair Keith Tapp, who served a critical role overseeing this project on the Strategic Management Committee. “The winners demonstrated the ag engineering creativity needed to develop the next generation of actionable farming solutions. Their innovations will make a positive impact on U.S. soy’s value chain well into the future.”

Cash prize winners were selected using methodical criteria developed with the sponsors and partners of the Soy Innovation Challenge. That criteria included:

  • Market opportunity, scalability and reproducibility of the innovation.
  • Value back to farmers.
  • Economics to produce and value created to market and stakeholders.
  • Innovation.
  • Disruption to the soy value chain.

The AWS credits award winners were selected based on the advancement of their innovations and the finalists that would best benefit from and utilize AWS credits and support services.

“The Soy Innovation Challenge winners represent a promising and diverse group of innovations that will capture more value back to the stakeholders that need that value the most — farmers,” said Brandon Day, COO of The Yield Lab Institute. “All of the finalists represent the best of a very competitive applicant pool that aims to disrupt the soy value chain. The Yield Lab Institute will be monitoring these promising winners for years to come!”

The Soy Innovation Challenge bridges the gap between production agriculture and technology companies that have farmer profitability top of mind. Ultimately, the winners presented an innovative solution that has strong potential to scale and capture more value back to farmers with financial and technical support.

“It is an honor to be selected as the grand prize winner of the Soy Innovation Challenge,” said Anastasia Volkova, CEO and founder of Regrow (formerly FluroSat). “The support from these forward-thinking sponsors will help our team benefit soybean farmers and the value chain overall. This plug and play technology enables farmers to monitor and plan for individualized sustainable practices and quantify the value of those practices through data that can be used to market products and preserve the land for the future.”

More details will be shared in the future about updates and progress related to the winning organizations’ work.

About United Soybean Board: United Soybean Board’s 78 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit

About Yield Lab Institute: The Yield Lab is the think-tank, non-profit arm of The Yield Lab global network of venture capital funds and accelerator programs. The Yield Lab Institute is focused on driving more impactful innovation to market through targeted initiatives that include innovation challenges, ecosystem assessments and technical studies and research in agrifood.


Paul Murphy-Spooner at the United Soybean Board,
Brandon Day at The Yield Lab Institute,
Jason Sparks at Syngenta,
Priscila Marques at Amazon Web Services,
Adi Bajayo at ICL Group/Scherf Communications,

© 2021 United Soybean Board. All Rights Reserved. [61006-6]

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