Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the Applicants?
Scale-able solutions that enable circular economies within farms through manure treatment and management. Market development opportunities for products derived from manure include, but are not limited to:
• Physical products such as energy, fertilizers, organic matter, compost, and cow bedding
• Ecosystem services such as enhancing soil health and sequestering carbon, reducing phosphorous or nitrogen in effluent, and improving downstream water availability and quality
• Development of trading markets for water quality, nutrients, carbon, etc.
What's the "Advisory Council"? Who's on it?
An advisory council is being installed to provide guidance to The Yield Lab Institute throughout The Manure Challenge project. It will be represented by a range of various stakeholders with expertise in manure management, dairy industry, environmental conservation and agricultural markets.
Newtrient and Dairy Farmers of America will provide advice and expertise throughout the process, help with the identification of potential companies to participate and will facilitate connections between participants, experts, producer organizations and other potential stakeholders throughout the project.
World Wildlife Fund will provide guidance on participant criteria, environmental impact assessment tools, and processes for multi-stakeholder engagement.
Who are the mentors, and what's their role?
Mentors will provide guidance to the participating start-up organizations throughout The Manure Challenge project. The mentor group consists of a range of stakeholders with different expertise related to manure management, dairy industry, agricultural markets, business development, marketing, and environmental conservation.
As appropriate, advisors and mentors will identify farms to test and prototype concepts.
What's the timeline & selection process for The Manure Challenge?
The Challenge starts in early 2019. This cohort will meet three times during the competition. Each participant will be matched with mentors to guide them (virtually) for the duration of the program. If of interest, mentors are free to provide in-kind services. Each mentor will have their own style of interaction, and guidelines and expectations will be clearly defined by The Challenge organizers.
The program will meet the needs of each participant at its stage of development. The approach will be flexible in terms of goal setting, mentoring and guidance –different participants will likely be at different stages and have different needs.
The cohort’s companies will have the opportunity to pitch their solutions to investors during an award ceremony later in early 2020. A judging panel will select winners and will award a cash prize to the winner(s).
Why was The Yield Lab Institute created?
We believe that innovation and investment in agriculture technology will play a vital role in securing a more food secure future and reaching the necessity to feed a population expected to reach over 9 billion by the year 2050. In order for that innovation and investment to happen, it is essential to develop agtech ecosystems on local, regional, and global levels.
What is the relationship between The Yield Lab Accelerators and The Yield Lab Institute
The Yield Lab Institute is a separate entity from The Yield Lab (accelerators & venture firm.) The Institute was created in part to address industry-wide issued observed by members of The Yield Lab teams. This Institute exists to further investment in agtech, broadly.
What role do the advisors play in the Manure Challenge?
Advisors provide non-binding guidance to The Yield Lab Institute in organizing the stakeholders that are necessary to engage in order to maximize the efficacy of The Manure Challenge.