Breakthrough technologies changing the game for ag and food.

The Nutrien Radicle Challenge makes that happen, with leaders in global agriculture evaluating the best ideas from Canada’s top ag innovators – and awarding US$1 million to a growth-stage company and US$250,000 in seed money to a start-up venture.

Radicle Growth has teamed up with Nutrien, the world’s largest provider of crop inputs, services, and solutions, to drive ag and food tech innovation in Canada. The Nutrien-Radicle Challenge Canada has been created to transform the speed of innovation for Canadian entrepreneurs. Together we’ll find the top Growth-Stage and the top Early-Stage ag and food tech companies in Canada, invest in them and provide access to the Radicle and Nutrien platforms to accelerate the development of technologies in the sectors.

Meet the Finalists

The finalists in the US$1 million growth-stage category are:

FarmLead, Ottawa, ON
Renaissance Bioscience,  Vancouver,

A bioengineering company that uses yeast as a platform microbe to create valuable industrial products for commercial partners.

P&P Optica, Waterloo, ON

A food processing technology provider that leverages hyperspectral imaging to detect foreign objects and assess food quality.

Terramera,Vancouver, BC

A developer of high-performance natural alternatives to synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers that has pioneered a method to target active ingredients to cellular delivery.


The finalists in the US$250,000 early-stage category are:

First Pass Technologies, Calgary, AB

Uses machine learning to optimize route selection within a farm by integrating into existing, embedded guidance hardware supplied by equipment manufacturers.

Livestock Water Recycling, Calgary, AB

Segregates and concentrates manure nutrients into two valuable fertilizer products while recycling clean water for reuse. 

Motorleaf, Montreal, QC

Uses artificial intelligence to make precise and automated yield forecasts for commercial hydroponic greenhouses., Saskatoon, SK

Meet the Judges

Chuck Magro, Chief Executive Officer, Nutrien

In addition to serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Nutrien, Chuck Magro plays an active role on the boards of the Business Council of Canada, International Plant Nutrition Institute and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. He also serves as chair of Canpotex Limited, vice chairman of the International Fertilizer Association and past chair of The Fertilizer Institute and the Nutrients for Life Foundation.

Mark Thompson, Chief Corporate Development and Strategy, Nutrien

Prior to his current role, Mark led M&A, greenfield builds & strategy for Nutrien’s global Retail business, while growing strategic industry relationships, contributing to Nutrien Ag Solutions’ digital strategy and playing a leading role in building Nutrien’s substantial presence within the global ag technology landscape. Before joining Nutrien, Mark worked for the Government of Canada’s Real Property Branch within commercial real estate investment and portfolio management.

Neal Gutterson, Chief Technology Officer, Corteva

Neal Gutterson is Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer of Corteva Agriscience™. He Joined DuPont Pioneer in 2014 as the Vice President of Ag Biotech R&D and assumed his current global role in 2016. He is responsible for leading all of R&D to create innovative agricultural products, services and integrated solutions for farmers and consumers.

Claudia Roessler, Director of Agriculture, Microsoft

As Director of Agriculture for Microsoft, Claudia Roessler leads the development of strategic partnerships around digital innovation and ag tech solutions within the agriculture ecosystem. She is responsible for driving innovation that helps increase productivity and sustainable practices through technology.

Steve Hansen, Managing Director, Raymond James

Steven Hansen joined Raymond James Ltd. in October 2005, and covers the transportation, chemicals, and agribusiness industries. In 2011, he was ranked as the number one stockpicker for his industry by StarMine, and in the same year, he achieved TopGun status with Brendan Wood. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Hansen was employed as a stock analyst with Morningstar covering the paper & forest products sector. Mr. Hansen holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business and a bachelor of science in forestry from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Hansen also holds his CMA designation and has the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Kirk Haney, Managing Partner, Radicle Growth

Kirk Haney is the CEO and Managing Partner of Radicle Growth. He has secured with with top-tier financial and corporate investors including Finistere Ventures, OurCrowd, Bayer Crop Science and Dupont Pioneer. Radicle is partnering with great entrepreneurs to bring disruptive innovation to market while leveraging the platform’s global network to accelerate the development of the new technologies.

For more information contact us by email or call 1-306-934-3337.