Agriculture

Tropical Agriculture & Bioeconomy Initiative

Creating high-impact regenerative agriculture ventures.

Deep Science Ventures (DSV) and the CRUSA Foundation have launched the Tropical Agriculture & Bioeconomy Initiative (TABI) programme to design and launch innovative high-growth start-ups in Costa Rica operating exclusively in the agriculture sector.

We are currently recruiting people with specialist domain knowledge to co-found agritech companies focused on solving the problems facing tropical bioregions.

We bring together entrepreneurial scientists, academic advisors and investors, to design and build new companies in agriculture, leveraging Deep Science Ventures’ unique venture creation process: Identifying critical commercial and technical approaches, around which high growth ventures and teams can be built.

No prior IP or “idea” is required. Candidates on this programme will have at least 12-months to identify the optimal solutions for a given area and create a venture to deliver them. You will be supported in this process by the DSV team and world-leading partners.

More details on the areas we’re pursuing can be seen below.

Thank you!

Contact Us

If you have any questions on the programme that aren't answered on this page, please contact us:

THE PROGRAMME

Costa Rica is well positioned to become a world-renowned engine of entrepreneurship in sustainable agriculture and the bioeconomy. We have assembled a consortium of leading institutions, bridging high-tech domains and local knowledge and technical expertise, to create ventures to achieve this.

WHO’s it for?

The programme is open to researchers and industry professionals with an interest in science entrepreneurship. We are looking for highly-driven individuals with expertise in agricultural technologies and an overwhelming desire to solve planetary and human problems, who are willing to relocate to one of the best countries in the world to build sustinable agriculture and biodiversity ventures.

Benefits of joining

A wide variety of benefits, both personally and professionally:

Drive real impact
You'll be working on the greatest challenges in Agriculture, with the funding and support to make deliver a global impact.
Proven framework & training
We’ve developed a proven methodology for venture creation, launching over 30 companies, and consistently identifying opportunities that others are missing.
Funding
Each company will be created with £250k to cover initial proof of concept work. The average follow-on funding post-incorporation is £600,000, 14 months post-incorporation.
Equity & ownership
Founders will own the majority of equity in their companies.
Industry-leading community
A community of industry-leading operators and ex-founders, across agriculture, climate, therapeutics and computation.
World-leading facilities
Access to important agricultural innovation hubs with leading experts in the areas we are developing.
Remote flexibility
Work from anywhere in the world.
Boost your career
Entrepreneurship offers excellent career progression. Entrepreneurs often publish more papers with higher-level co-authors and file more patents than they did in academia.

Areas of venture creation:

Thermal Adaptation of Tropical Farms

Problem to solve

Crops often face rising temperatures and reduced ambient humidity from climate change. As cultivated areas become unsuitable. crop production is driven into new areas, driving deforestation or other habitat loss. The issue is prevalent in coffee cultivation - 50% of presently cultivated lands are likely to be eliminated due to climate change by 2050.

Reason to solve

With a wide set of technologies, thermal resilience could be applied to coffee (one of the most important agricultural commodities), and be extrapolated to other frontier crops that will drive future biodiversity losses. Solving these problems will bring wide global impact, and can help smallholders sustain their businesses whilst becoming agents of biodiversity conservation.

21st Century Crops

Problem to solve

Agricultural applications must expand beyond those considered in the 20th century (foods, feeds, fuels and fibres), into new applications for a 21st century circular bioeconomy - in a rapid timeframe. Modern plant breeding and engineering technologies can unlock those applications but new traits and crops must be developed within a few generations (years or less), potentially with novel biotechnologies.

Reason to solve

Enhanced approaches for traditional breeding or engineering can support a rapid transition toward a circular bioeconomy, by delivering new crops and capabilities far beyond the traditional considerations of crops as a means of achieving food security, allowing agriculture to better contribute to wider economic resilience of nations and securing crop production and profitability in an ever-changing climate.

Biomass Conversion for the Bioeconomy

Problem to solve

Technologies to convert biomass into valuable hydrocarbon fractions are critical to achieving a circular bioeconomy, but are inefficient due to high energy requirements (which still depend on fossil fuels even if the source is biological), and typically see low-value inputs producing low-value outputs.

Reason to solve

Innovating processing and conversion technologies will help maximise the huge potential for biomass to eliminate pollution generated by non-renewable resources, and open the door to resilient local economies maximising closed loop production.

Composite Wood Materials

Problem to solve

A shortage of timber and steel has led to unmet demand for high performance construction material in lower income countries. In theory, this could be adequately dealt with using mass timber, however such alternative wood materials require the softwoods or hardwoods to be sourced from trees.

Reason to solve

Developing high performance composite woods that can be reliably sourced from non-woody plants and biomass has the potential to reduce reliance on imports, enhance national circular economies and reduce the overall number of trees cut down around the world, and improve carbon sequestration.

Our partners

Edward Perello

Associate Director for Agriculture, Deep Science Ventures

Deep Science Ventures is a venture creator, combining available scientific knowledge and founder-type scientists into high-impact ventures, to build a future where both humans and the planet thrive.
There is an opportunity here for founders to work at the intersection of venture creation and international development, to drive global goals relating to climate change, food security and biodiversity - solving big, important problems that are not being sufficiently tackled at the moment. We must emphasise that this is very much an action-oriented role; we are not just solving problems theoretically. We are creating ventures in the places where agriculture dominates, where there is the greatest scope to do the greatest good, as fast as possible.

Flora Montealegre

Executive Director, CRUSA Foundation

CRUSA Foundation is a Costa Rican non-profit organisation. Since 1996 the Foundation has devoted its efforts towards improving life quality for the country’s inhabitants and achieving sustainable development.
Through this alliance for the bioeconomy in Costa Rica and Tropical Agriculture & Bioeconomy Initiative (TABI), we highlight and demonstrate the potential and capabilities we have to attract companies and develop new ventures in key sectors that contribute to the revitalization of our economy, climate change mitigation and the welfare of people.

Alvaro E. Peralta

VP, CR biomed

CR biomed is Costa Rica’s biotechnology and life sciences cluster. Since 2016, it brings together private companies, government, academia, investors, entrepreneurs, and individuals that are either directly engaged in R&D activities or that are suppliers for those activities, to coordinate and promote the development of a globally competitive Costa Rican biotechnology and life sciences industry.
DSV’s initiative aligns seamlessly with CR biomed’s mission toward promoting the creation of new science-based global businesses, which I believe is key for a bright social, environmental, and economic future for Costa Rica. I have high expectations for the program, and I am excited to see the new companies that will emerge from this effort.

Carlos Araya

Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, CATIE

CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) is an academic centre for innovation and sustainable development in agriculture, management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
This alliance represents a good example of how entrepreneurs, organizations, private companies and investors can coincide on a joint effort to generate a positive impact on society and on the environment. We, at CATIE, are honored to be a part of TABI.

Nathan Young

Global Innovation Office Director, EARTH University

EARTH University is a private, non-profit, international university based in Costa Rica and created with support from the Costa Rican government, U.S. Agency for International Development and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. EARTH’s mission is to prepare leaders with ethical values to contribute to sustainable development and construct a prosperous and just society.
EARTH University is excited to participate in this collaboration with so many leading research institutions. The identified Operating Areas of focus are truly at the forefront of sustainability and adapting Costa Rica’s strengths to a changing environment.

Adim De

Scientific Leader, CINDE

CINDE, The Costa Rica Investment Promotion Agency is a private, non-political, and non-profit organization. For 40 years, it has advised and guided nearly 400 high-tech companies to develop their operations and strategies in the country.
I believe that this collaboration through Deep Science Ventures brings a fresh perspective on how we can empower innovation in Costa Rica and the region. Building companies with an emphasis on Bioeconomy (and bio-based materials) and advanced technologies is a huge boost to the entrepreneurship ecosystem and we are excited to support these new ventures and be part of this journey towards creating value from within the region.
APPLICATION PROCESS

We review applications within 5 working days from submission. The process typically takes 4 weeks for successful candidates.

Available opportunities

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Founder, Adapting Tropical Farms to Climate Change

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Founder, Next Generation Construction Biomaterials

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