It begins with a collaboration platform where key stakeholders such as industry players, trade groups, universities, investors, and other industry participants can come together to identify, discuss, and define key problems that farmers and agribusinesses are facing. Once key problems are identified, startup companies that are selected as part of an IN2 cohort can then work with research scientists and principal investigators at the Danforth Center to develop new ideas or technologies that address the industry pain points. Subsequent to that step, IN2 brings together the necessary partners to test and validate such technologies for commercial roll out, essentially removing risk from the technologies prior to the funding and execution of a commercial, go-to-market strategy.

What value will the new agricultural focus bring to Wells Fargo’s customers and other stakeholders?

Wells Fargo’s Food and Agribusiness customers are being disrupted by numerous structural challenges and changing paradigms including, but not limited to, tightening operating margins; new entrants; commodity price volatility; trade tensions and tariffs; greater regulatory requirements; and the need to reduce the environmental impact associated with food production, manufacturing, distribution, and post-consumer food waste.

While large banks may not typically be considered to be on the cutting edge of innovation, for more than 20 consecutive years Wells Fargo has been the leading commercial agricultural production lender, and currently has more than $40 billion in outstanding business banking loan commitments to the Food and Agribusiness industry. The benefits of IN2 across Wells Fargo’s various stakeholder groups include:

Wells Fargo bankers, credit, and risk professionals – develop a better understanding of emerging advancements in plant science and information technology that will impact customer business models and future profitability, and will factor into lending decisions

Wells Fargo Food and Agribusiness customers – gain early exposure to next generation scientific and information technology advancements that can help produce higher quality food more efficiently and with lower environmental impact, thereby ensuring economic and ecological sustainability

Wells Fargo Private Bank customers, including high net worth individuals, family offices, foundations, and endowments – gain access to investment ideas and philanthropic opportunities that intersect with their impact and sustainability goals.

Is Wells Fargo otherwise focused on AgTech?

In addition to providing AgTech and FoodTech companies with a comprehensive array of commercial banking services and investment banking capabilities, Wells Fargo is continually working to connect these companies with agricultural producers, processors, and investors up and down the food chain. These efforts have included discovery meetings with early- and middle-stage AgTech and FoodTech companies; hosting our own customer symposiums and webinars; and attending and speaking at high-profile industry conferences and roundtables focused on issues related to the digitalization of agriculture and the technological transformation of food and food production.

Wells Fargo is also involved in several external collaborations including Farm2050, a collective of diverse partners committed to advancing the future of food through supporting AgTech entrepreneurs and startups. The joint efforts of our Food and Agribusiness team and our CleanTech team span the following subsectors which fall under the heading of precision agriculture:

• Animal technologies: temperature and location monitoring, gene editing, breeding, devices/IoT, veterinary drugs/vaccines, nutrition, feeding and milking systems

Crop protection and prescriptions: biologicals, specialty plant nutrients, seed treatments and adjuvants, active ingredient discovery

Equipment and field decision support: weather stations, weather, temperature and moisture sensors, automation, robotics, variable rate applications

Farm management information systems: farm management software, enterprise resource planning systems, accounting and inventory/input management and other software systems (SaaS, PaaS)

Imagery: satellite, drone, analytic software

Indoor farming: Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), greenhouses

Science: breeding, genetics, genomics, genetically modified organisms (GMO), gene editing

Other: financial technology (FinTech), payments and logistics, grain trading, and marketing

How can I get additional information on Wells Fargo’s IN2 program and the new focus on agriculture?

To learn more about the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator Program (IN2), please contact Ramsay Huntley at (303) 882-5645 or Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg at 917-637-0410 or visit www.IN2ecoystem.com

To learn more about NREL, please contact Trish Cozart at 303-275-3682 or visit www.nrel.gov

To learn more about the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, please contact Claire Kinlaw at 510-967-4083 or visit www.danforthcenter.org/