The chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based High Alpha Innovation thinks there is no reason Indiana cannot be a global leader in the agbiosciences sector.
Elliott Parker says the global pandemic has created a “moment of unprecedented opportunity” for entrepreneurs, including businesses in the agricultural and food spaces.
“You’ve got just fundamental, foundational elements of the economy that are being reimagined and redesigned at the moment,” said Parker. “It’s a land grab and in some space that is where opportunity abounds.”
High Alpha Innovation works not only with startups, but established companies that are attempting to push their innovation envelope.
For entrepreneurs, Parker says sometimes it might be unclear how they go about creating a company, finding the path to that capital, and launching the product.
“We’ve got all the resources here to do it,” said Parker during a recent recording session of the Ag+Bio+Science podcast presented by AgriNovus Indiana. “What you need for a good environment or ecosystem for innovation is a combination of ideas, people and capital, we’ve got all three of those.”
Parker says one barrier may be the lack of connections. He says there needs to be more emphasis placed on fostering relationships, clearing paths, and helping entrepreneurs with innovative ideas connect to the right people, including investors.
“Often when we look at an ecosystem like this, the assumption is often that there’s just not enough capital flowing freely to invest in new startups that are coming in the space. It turns out that the capital is not the problem. The capital is there for good ideas,” Parker said to Inside INdiana Business host Gerry Dick.
High Alpha Innovation was one of the judges for the recently held Forbes AgTech+ hackathon, in which AgriNovus was a partner. The virtual competition allowed teams the opportunity to find solutions across technology, agriculture, and health.
The competitors brainstormed on three challenges:
- Emerging tech in agriculture
- Intersection of human and animal health
- Sustainability farm to fork
Parker says the presentations confirmed to him the extent to which there’s opportunity to do new things and to innovate within the ag biotech space.
“A number of the ideas that were brought forward were really fascinating. And there were not only the ones that made it to the final cut, there were many that were left on the cutting room floor that were of merit too,” Parker said. “There’s just so much opportunity in this space right now. And the big, big problems to go solve.”
Each week, host Gerry Dick conducts conversations with leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in Indiana’s agbioscience sector, discussing the confluence of food, agriculture, science and technology.
The full podcast will be available Monday morning. Click here for more information on how you can listen.