Join The DIAL Ventures Ecosystem

The Digital Innovation in Agri-Food Lab (DIAL) was created in 2021 as part of Purdue University’s Next Moves 2.0 initiative. DIAL Ventures leads and fosters digital innovation across the agriculture and food ecosystem to advance the world toward a safer, more sustainable and equitable place. Through its unique venture studio model, DIAL launches advantaged startup companies designed to make an immediate impact in the marketplace.

The Problem We Solve

A 2015 McKinsey Global Institute study on digital adoption ranked agriculture last out of 22 industries. This is perplexing given the innovative advancements in agri-food over the last three decades. But compared to other industries, agri-food is lacking in basic digital tools to modernize management practices and meet growing consumer demands. The U.S. agri-food system would benefit greatly from the development of novel digital solutions from a trusted, reputable source that understands the business of farming and food, its broad spectrum of stakeholders, and its customers. And Purdue DIAL Ventures is that source, developing SaaS tools to advance the industry in data interoperability, traceability, ESG, fintech, labor, and consumer food choice.

How We Do It

We start by listening. We ask the people who are living and working in agri-food every day about the problems they are facing in the business. The cohort of Innovation Fellows then follows a robust process to turn the most critically important pains expressed by stakeholders into gains via novel digital business concepts. Working alongside agri-food subject matter experts throughout ensures the business concept provides unique value by addressing an unmet need.

Purdue Leads the Way:

#3 College of Agriculture
#1 Biological/Agricultural Engineering
#4 Food Science
#7 School in Innovation
#9 Supply Chain Management/Logistics
#13 Software Engineering

What is a venture studio?
A structured process and set of resources committed to all aspects of building and supporting a startup, including discovery, ideation, concept development, solution testing, funding and business structure design, and support.

What is a DIAL Ventures  Innovation Fellow?
A top-performing entrepreneur, typically with experience launching high-tech startups outside of agri-food, thereby bringing a completely new, fresh perspective to long-standing industry challenges as they transition to co-founders of DIAL Ventures’ studio companies.

The DIAL Ventures Studio Model

• A unique innovation process that utilizes principles from Jobs-To-Be-Done theory to identify leading industry problems and move those to high impact business concepts in just over 4 months.
• Engaging leading entrepreneurs from diverse industries that serve as Innovation Fellows who are trained to become experts in agri-food.
• A leadership curriculum for the Innovation Fellows to prepare them to become founders of our launched startups.
• Collaborative problem identification with industry experts and their diverse stakeholders.
• An exclusive two-day, in-person workshop where industry leaders evaluate jobs to be done and potential solutions.
• A week where experienced venture builders from across the U.S. come in to refine our final business concepts before launch.
• Opportunities to co-invest in our studio portfolio companies.

For more information contact suttonjs@purdue.edu.


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