Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator Expands Focus to Identify and Promote Sustainable Agriculture Technologies

Program enlists Danforth Plant Science Center as strategic partner to
explore the nexus of food-water-energy, validate solutions to address
agriculture’s environmental impact


DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Wells
Fargo Innovation Incubator
(IN2), a technology incubator
and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and administered by
the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is expanding its
program to advance technologies that address the interconnection of
food, water and energy. The
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
will be a strategic partner to
help further develop and validate promising agriculture technologies
addressing critical sustainability challenges. The announcement was made
at Danforth’s Ag Innovation Showcase on Sept. 11 in St. Louis.

“In looking to expand IN2, we discovered that one of the
greatest opportunities for creating smart, connected, sustainable cities
is finding efficiencies in the connections among food, energy and water
use,” said Mary Wenzel, head of Sustainability and Corporate
Responsibility at Wells Fargo and IN2 board member.
“Agriculture uses 70 percent of global water and 14 percent of global
energy, and our IN2 program is uniquely positioned to further
the development and commercialization of technologies that reduce
agriculture’s carbon, energy and water impact.”

The Danforth Plant Science Center, the world’s largest independent plant
science institute, will focus on research and validation of innovative
solutions that address how to use digital agriculture to produce food
more sustainably, much like the way NREL leads the program’s validation
of technologies related to commercial buildings. Future IN2
activities under the food-water-energy nexus will include food system
inefficiencies and water conservation to help meet IN2’s goal
of advancing smart, connected communities.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with an organization that deeply
understands the trifecta of basic science, innovation and
commercialization,” said Trish Cozart, IN2 program manager at
NREL. “We cannot wait to see the benefit our next round of portfolio
companies will receive.”

“As one of the largest lenders to the agriculture and agricultural
technology (agtech) sectors, Wells Fargo will bring its expertise to
bear in helping these early-stage startups make it to the commercial
marketplace,” noted Ramsay Huntley, Clean Technology and Innovation
Philanthropy program officer with Wells Fargo.

“Wells Fargo and NREL, through the expanded IN2 program, are
the right partners with which to accelerate delivery of benefits from
science and technology on the farm,” said Jim Carrington, president of
Danforth Plant Science Center. “We are excited about this new
partnership as a way to combine the focused scientific research
capability at the center with pressing needs to deliver more sustainable
and productive agriculture.”

IN2 finds and selects companies through a network of Channel
Partners
consisting of incubators, accelerators and universities
across the U.S. After validation, participating companies with
commercially ready technologies have the potential to beta test with a
strategic program partner. IN2 already is examining its
networks for potential beta testing partners and plans to announce the
selection of Round 5 agtech portfolio companies in spring 2019. To date,
IN2 has funded 20 early-stage companies that have gone on to
raise $89.5 million in follow-on funding from external sources.

“For 20 years, the Danforth Center has been a driver in the growth of
the food and agriculture innovation ecosystem,” said Sam Fiorello, chief
operating officer at Danforth Plant Science Center. “By leveraging the
center’s excellence in plant research and its best-in-class technology
infrastructure, the expanded INplatform will help
accelerate agriculture technology commercialization for early-stage
companies across the U.S. and the world.”

For a complete list of IN2 portfolio companies, visit in2ecosystem.com/portfolio-companies.

About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator

IN2 is a $30 million clean-technology incubator and platform
funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Administered by and housed at the
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., IN2’s
mission is to speed the path to market for early-stage, clean-technology
entrepreneurs. Companies selected for participation in the program
receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding, technical support and
validation from experts at NREL and the Danforth Plant Science Center’s
facilities, and the opportunity to beta test at a Wells Fargo facility
or with a strategic program partner. Launched in 2014 with an initial
focus on supporting scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of
commercial buildings, IN2 expanded its focus in 2018 to
support innovation in sectors such as food systems, energy storage,
water and others with the ultimate goal of fostering smart and connected
communities of the future. For more information, visit in2ecosystem.com.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based
financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s
vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them
succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco,
Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products, as well
as consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,300 locations,
13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has
offices in 38 countries and territories to support customers who conduct
business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members,
Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells
Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of
America’s largest corporations. In 2017, Wells Fargo donated $286.5
million to 14,500 nonprofits and Wells Fargo team members volunteered a
record 2 million hours. Wells Fargo’s corporate social responsibility
efforts are focused on three strategic priorities: diversity and social
inclusion, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability. News,
insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells
Fargo Stories
.

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a
not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human
condition through plant science. Research, education and outreach aim to
have impact the nexus of food security and the environment and position
the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s
work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including
the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National
Science Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more
information, visit danforthcenter.org.

Contacts

Media
E.J. Bernacki, 415-840-4469
ejbernacki@wellsfargo.com
or
Danielle
Calfo, 720-833-5914
dcalfo@mapr.agency

Sky Optics Media drone video