By Karsten Temme, Ph.D.
This is Part 2 of a two-part post. If you haven’t read Betting on our future, Part 1, you can find it here.
As we step into these first days of 2019 and look forward, a quick glance in the rearview mirror reminds us where we’ve been. When I look back at 2018, I see our team walking into a cornfield on a typical July morning in Iowa as Kevin, the farm’s owner, led us through the narrow rows of the plot. The leaves around us were a vibrant, verdant green.
Kevin, and many Corn Belt growers like him, took a chance on us. Last year, we shared our product — the first generation of Pivot Bio PROVEN™ — with innovative, progressive growers and asked them to put it through its paces, to let us know if it was ready for prime time. We asked them to trust that our innovation could be better for their farms and better for their profitability. Their feedback has helped improve our product, and the results in the field have been phenomenal. We will be sharing more details soon!
Now, looking ahead, I am energized by the possibilities this year holds for the Pivot Bio team and our customers. We are working hard to deliver productivity, efficiency, and sustainability for the customers who will use our product on their operation this season. It’s not a privilege we take lightly. We know our technology and our team must live up to the expectations and standards of hard-working American corn growers. We are grateful for these customers’ trust and thrilled we have registration to sell our product in 18 states.
We’re taking all that we’ve learned in the development of our first product combined with the valuable lessons from 2018, and using these collective experiences to fast-track product development of nitrogen-producing microbes for wheat and rice. I’m also looking forward to the possibilities our soybean inoculant collaboration with Bayer will reveal. As if expanding our product lines to include solutions for wheat, rice and soybeans isn’t enough, we are working diligently to make Pivot Bio PROVEN™ available outside the U.S.
Of course, all of this would be impossible without our incredible team of scientists, engineers, technicians, and the support of our business partners. When Alvin and I first started, The Gates Foundation and DARPA believed in us, and this past year, we raised $70M in Series B funding, which has strengthened our family of investors and given us the ability to expand our team.
I begin the new year with gratitude. I’ll be forever indebted to all of our partners and farmers, who believe in us and who bet that there is a better way to grow. Here’s to 2019 and unveiling another tremendous year of opportunity.