San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Welcome to the first annual Royse Law Midwest AgTech Conference!
Our startup focused AgTech events connect farmers, founders, investors, educators, and policymakers.
Curious about AgTech's investment outlook? Wondering what growers really need? Is market adoption really happening? Join us in the Windy City for a day of expert panels with deep industry knowledge both in Agriculture and Technology. We will discuss previous, current, and developing strategies to solve some of agriculture's biggest pain points, especially in crop production. Take advantage of our many networking breaks without missing important panel content.
Stick around for our Silicon Valley style Demo Day featuring on-stage pitches by some of the most promising Midwest AgTech companies in front of 12 judges from private equity, venture capital, angels, and corporate venture.
We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!
|9:00 am - 9:20 am||Jim Slama, Family Farmed|
|Jim Slama founded FamilyFarmed at a time when few people recognized the term “Good Food movement,” and demand for locally, sustainably, humanely, and fairly produced food was still a tiny sliver of the overall consumer market. Under Slama’s leadership during more than 15 years since, FamilyFarmed has become an important catalyst in the booming, consumer-driven rise of the movement, helping to build a robust Good Food cluster in its home base of Chicago while expanding the national scope and impact of its work.|
|9:20 am - 9:40 am||Leland (Lee) Strom, Farm Illinois|
Leland (Lee) Strom serves as CEO of FARM Illinois (Food and Agriculture RoadMap), the statewide, multisector association organized to develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated strategic plan with the goal of positioning Illinois and the Chicago Region as the global leader in food and agriculture system innovation. The plan aims to ensure the state’s leadership in sustainably meeting the 21st-century challenge of global and local food security.
He joined FARM Illinois in March of 2015 following more than eight years in Washington D.C., where he served as CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Farm Credit Administration. FCA is the safety and soundness regulator of the $300 billion national network of Farm Credit System institutions and Farmer Mac. He also served as chair of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation.
Lee has served as an agriculture advisor on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Advisory Board on Agriculture, Labor, and Small Business, and in numerous other leadership capacities within the agriculture and finance sectors for the past 35 years. He currently serves as a principal with Open Prairie, a premier, Midwest-based, private fund management firm currently establishing the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, a USDA licensed Rural Business Investment Corporation.
In 2011, Lee was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Northern Illinois University for his efforts in protecting and managing the assets of the nation’s agriculture industry.
He and his wife reside on a farm just west of Chicago in Kane County, Illinois where their ancestors settled in the late 1800’s. He’s been involved in the agriculture industry his entire career.
|12:40 pm - 1:10 pm||
Colleen Callahan, USDA Rural Development in Illinois
Colleen Callahan grew up on a purebred Hampshire hog, Angus cattle and grain farm near Milford, Illinois. She received her bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from the University of Illinois. She was the first woman agribusiness director for WMBD Radio and TV in Peoria. After 30 years with WMBD, Colleen started her own communications firm, specializing in giving motivational speeches, facilitating meetings and debates, and coaching individuals and organizations in public speaking and preparing for media interviews. She has traveled on official missions to Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and Cuba.
Colleen has a strong commitment to public service and has served on numerous executive boards throughout the Peoria area and the State of Illinois. She also served as the first woman president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and is the first woman inducted into its Hall of Fame.
|The Obama Administration named Colleen State Director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois, and she began her duties in July 2009. She oversees the agency’s 13 offices and its $4.3 billion loan portfolio with investments in housing, business and community development in rural Illinois. While continuing in that capacity, in August of 2012, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asked Colleen to also serve as the Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Drought.|
Sponsors, Media Partners, Exhibitors
David C. Borlo
Managing Partner (Fund I)
Illinois State Director, Rural Development
Crestlight Venture Productions
Exec Producer & Managing Partner
D'Orazio Capital Partners
Head of Corporate Development
McKinsey & Company
Zero Gravity Solutions, Inc.
flux farm Inc
Livingston Securities LLC
McDonnell Ag Solutions
Barilla America, Inc
Vendor Assurance Manager
President & CEO
AgTech Innovation Center
Monsanto Growth Ventures
Aaron T Ratner
Ultra Capital LLC
Royse Law Firm
Northern Exposure Global Innovations
Director, Category Operations - Produce
Royse Law Firm
When & Where
Royse Events LLC
Royse Events LLC is an organization committed to helping, and connecting founders, investors, markets, and regulators. Royse Events promotes visionary thinking in technology, hosts dozens of local, national, and international events and webinars, and publishes useful resources for the Technology community. Today, more than 19,000 members have been actively involved with Royse Events.
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This event is part of the RoyseLaw AgTech Innovation Network. For 5 years we have been connecting promising startups with customers, investors, and strategic partners around the world. We host a wide arrange of events from public demo days and conferences to private international delegations and 1-1 sessions with big ag companies, angels, VCs, private equity, and corporate ventures.
Ag technologies we've supported include:
- Sustainable Protein
- Big Data
- Food Safety and Data Analytics
- IoT - Smart Farm Devices
- Supply Chain & Analytics
- eCommerce & Subscription Delivery
- Farm to Business Marketplace and Platforms
- Plant and Soil Innovation
- Crop Technologies
- Soil Technologies
- Drones and UAVs