Last September XTB Laboratories won Larta Institute’s first “Ideas, energized” prize at the 2016 Ag Innovation Showcase. The prize included $10k, a year of commercialization consulting from Larta Institute, and open doors to our wide network. Vox will check in periodically on XTB’s progress. This is the first of four installments.
While we at Larta are excited to greet a new cohort of portfolio companies to our commercialization programs, we are pleased to spotlight continued partnerships we have carried into 2017.
Over the course of this year, Vox will publish a quarterly series chronicling the growth of XTB Laboratories. XTB Laboratories is a promising company that caught our attention at the 2016 Ag Innovation Showcase when they won our inaugural “Ideas, energized” prize for their outstanding performance in the categories of showmanship, novelty of innovation, commercial potential, and the potential to disrupt their market.
Ideas, energized Strategic Mentorship
The “Ideas, energized” win gave XTB Laboratories $10,000 in prize money, as well as a year of dedicated mentoring by the Larta Institute executive team and strategic introductions to Larta’s vast network of industry professionals.
According to Claire Kinlaw, Larta Institute’s Agricultural Practice Director and liaison to XTB Laboratories, mentorship of the startup takes place through four main areas: “monthly sounding board meetings, networking outreach assistance and advisory, construction of financial models to assist their technology to market, and expansion of their platform technology.”
Reflecting on her experience thus far, XTB’s Chief Science Officer, Cristina Davis, says, “We were at a pivot point, and both the exposure of the Ag Innovation Showcase and the “Ideas, energized” prize shone a spotlight on us. We are now in strong discussions with major ag companies for strategic investment.”
About XTB Laboratories
XTB Laboratories is a California-based, woman-led business, co-founded by Dr. Cristina Davis. XTB Laboratories’ early detection and prevention platform is a direct solution to the as-of-now incurable citrus greening disease plaguing the Florida and California citrus industries. Diseased plants emit unique odor profiles that XTB Laboratories have catalogued. Their diagnostic method “smells” disease before the human eye or alternative technologies can spot the disease, enabling citrus growers to eliminate diseased trees early on and stop the spread of contamination.
Goals for 2017
“2017 is XTB Laboratories’ burst out year. The company is getting noticed, and it’s due in large part to their awarding of the Ideas, energized prize,” says Kinlaw.
Kinlaw outlined three priorities that XTB Laboratories, in partnership with Larta Institute, hopes to accomplish in 2017:
- Raise capital.
- Create a viable financial and business model.
- Expand their platform technology to address other plant diseases aside from citrus greening.
Says Kinlaw, “The first two priorities go hand in hand, because their financial model will persuade funders, and raised capital reinforces their business model.”
Larta Institute’s mission and passion is to energize entrepreneurs like XTB Laboratories. We are excited to work with XTB Laboratories throughout 2017 in transforming their technology ideas into solutions that feed, fuel, and heal the world.