UCR Incubated FarmSense Clinches Top Prizes in 2023

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Oct 23, 2023


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  • FarmSense, a UCR startup, won two global challenges – the 2023 Radicle Inclusion Challenge presented by Nutrien and Bayer’s Grants4Tech Pest Monitor Challenge.
  • The Radicle Inclusion Challenge awarded the startup a $750,000 prize.
  • FarmSense received over $2 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding.

FarmSense, a UCR-EPIC incubated AgTech startup, clinched top prizes in the 2023 Radicle Inclusion Challenge presented by Nutrien and Bayer’s Grants4Tech Pest Monitor Challenge.

It has propelled FarmSense into the limelight and secured significant funding, taking the world of agriculture by storm.

Radicle Inclusion Challenge

In 190 global entries, FarmSense emerged as one of two winners of the 2023 Radicle Inclusion Challenge presented by Nutrien. This prestigious achievement brought them a coveted $750,000 prize, marking their place at the forefront of agricultural innovation.

Nutrien, the Canadian fertilizer giant with annual revenues of $27 billion, recognized FarmSense’s potential and commitment to inclusive growth, further solidifying the startup’s position as a game-changer in the industry.

Collaboration and Support

FarmSense will gain more than just financial support as part of their winnings. They will have the opportunity to collaborate with senior executives at both Radicle Growth and Nutrien. Additionally, they will receive access to Radicle’s company-building platform, which promises to be a valuable resource in their journey to revolutionize the agricultural landscape.

This collaborative approach underscores the growing importance of innovation in the agriculture sector, and FarmSense is well-positioned to lead the way.

Bayer Grants4Tech Pest Monitor Challenge Victory: FarmSense’s successes did not stop at the Radicle Inclusion Challenge. The startup also clinched the top prize in Bayer’s global Grants4Tech Pest Monitor Challenge. Their innovative FlightSensorβ„’ technology, gaining recognition, was the show’s star during the finals at Bayer’s headquarters in Germany. This recognition reaffirms their commitment to developing solutions that address crucial challenges in agriculture, including pest monitoring and management.

Funding and Growth: FarmSense’s meteoric rise is mirrored in its impressive funding journey. The startup has already been awarded over $2 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding. With potential funding expansion, this total could surpass $4 million, further enabling them to expand their innovative offerings and drive change in the agricultural sector.

Diversity and Inclusion as a Driving Force

Dr. Leslie Hickle, the co-founder and CEO of FarmSense, attributes their success to a diverse and innovative team. In a statement, Dr. Hickle emphasized, “FarmSense strongly believes that diversity and inclusion stand as beacons of future growth and innovation in commercial agriculture.” The recognition of FarmSense’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by industry giants like Nutrien and Bayer underscores the importance of these values in fostering innovation in agriculture.


FarmSense’s journey from a startup incubated at UCR to an emerging ag-tech force shows its potential and innovation.

Its recent awards in the 2023 Radicle Inclusion Challenge and Bayer’s Grants4Tech Pest Monitor Challenge represent a step forward in addressing the pressing challenges of agriculture. As the tech market continues to develop, FarmSense is set to play an essential role in shaping the future of sustainable and efficient agriculture. With support, collaboration, and a commitment to diversity, FarmSense will impact the industry more significantly.


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