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Atlanta Seeks IoT Innovators for Agtech Solutions

The IoT.ATL AgTech Challenge is accepting applications from Internet of Things and agriculture technology startups for a 12-month project to address food shortages and costs in urban areas.
By Claire Swedberg

The challenge is aimed not at existing solutions and large technology companies, but rather at new innovations and solutions created via the collaboration of startups. The group expects submissions to come from IoT startups, as well as from agtech companies or collaborative groups of such businesses. In some cases, Curry says, a group may team several companies with independent applications, in order to develop a combined solution. Additionally, she says, "The judges will take a look at matchmaking," finding potential clients or partners in the agtech market that might want to work with the innovators.

Applicants are expected to hail from across the United States, as well as globally. They will be selected based on the readiness of their solutions, their ability to solve a problem in the agriculture market, their level of innovation, their focus on community and the business model they bring.

Once the 12-month project is complete, Curry says, those that have a viable solution they would like to continue developing or marketing can continue to enter the procurement process to develop and deploy their system with the City of Atlanta as a client. The IoT.ATL AgTech Challenge group will review the results of all six projects for lessons learned. "Agtech is a huge market [that is] reaching over $10 billion in 2017 and growing," Curry states.

The challenge, according to Curry, is the first in a series of living labs the city expects to undertake during the coming years that are centered around IoT-based solutions for city-wide challenges involving equity and inclusion. "Our goal is to make Atlanta a hub of IoT and smart-city innovations," she explains, "and to connect with our community about how technology and IoT can improve lives." The trends they examine, she notes, focus on technology testbeds to solve these issues.

The IoT.ATL AgTech Challenge launched on Sept. 26. The group expects to receive approximately 60 applications from technology companies, from or groups of companies. The six winning applications will be announced following the Nov. 2 deadline, and the projects are slated to be launched prior to Super Bowl LII, which will be held on Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta.

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