The Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit spotlights breakthrough start-ups revolutionising Asia’s agri-food ecosystem.

From Seed-Stage through to Series-C, the event connects innovators with brands, investors and producers looking to drive food security and provide affordable, nutritious food for future generations.

Rainstick were the winners of the Agri-Tech Start-Up Pitch Hour 2023. We caught up with Mic Black, to see what they’ve got up to since the summit last year.

RAINSTICK winning the Start-Up Pitch Hour at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2023
RAINSTICK winning the Start-Up Pitch Hour at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2023

Outline the start-up in 1-2 sentences:

Rainstick mimics lightning to germinate seeds and increase food production more sustainably. My name is Mic Black. I am one of two founders, and the Chief Thunderstorm Creator at Rainstick. I lead a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, agronomists and ecologists to improve global food security and variety.

Tell us about your key milestones since the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2023

We have completed over 205 trials over 62K seedlings substantially improving modelling and predictability of our electric seed treatments in different environments. Thanks to our participation in SIAW, we have gained access to global partners and have made great headway into new markets in SE Asia and Europe.

Looking back at the activity the past few years, both regarding market dynamics and your company’s internal development, what is driving your strategy?

We are driven to help producers, food corporations and governments meet pressing 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals to improve our environment and feed the planet. Our Variable Electric Field (VEF) seed treatment technology is designed to increase the effectiveness of existing seed treatments, and provide highly compelling options to organic food production through tailored recipes.

What are the main obstacles and challenges you anticipate as you move forward with your start-up? How do you plan to address and overcome them?

It is the right time to be at the forefront of biophysics, bioelectrics and AI-based modelling especially as global food systems are being asked to do the impossible – make more food with less inputs. Our strength will continue to depend on partnerships whereby we can target our efforts at specific species and varieties being grown commercially to improve food security and food variety.

What advice would you offer start-ups who are fundraising in today’s challenging economic and regulatory landscape?

Be diligent and be ready. Work with partners across the entire value chain. Be sure that your product truly makes a significant impact, a giant leap forward rather than something incremental. 2026 may be an interesting year for fundraising and regulatory bodies as we get closer to 2030.

How do you view the current fundraising landscape?

If what you have is compelling enough, funding is available. Whilst there have been some brutal down rounds in the last year for some companies, it is great to see capital being redirected to ventures that directly support better custodianship of the pale blue dot we live on.

Could you feature at the summit? Join us in Singapore on November 19-21, to meet over 1000 agri-food leaders for thought-leadership sessions, start-up discovery, investor insights, and targeted networking. Get in touch.