Nebraska Startups Have Success in National Competition

Three Nebraska startups were selected as the top four finalists in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Ag Innovation Challenge.


The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), in partnership with Farm Credit, selected finalists of the Ag Innovation Challenge during the American Farm Bureau’s Convention this past week. In October 2021, three of the ten semi-finalists chosen were Nebraska-based startups, all of whom are part of The Combine Incubator program based in Lincoln. Each semi-finalist competed at the convention that took place January 7-12, 2022 and also received $10,000. The three semi-finalists from Nebraska include Grain Weevil in Aurora, Birds Eye Robotics in Herman, and Marble Technologies in Lincoln.

American Farm Bureau’s Ag Innovation Challenge identifies top entrepreneurs who are addressing both traditional challenges farmers and ranchers face on their operation, such as access to labor, optimizing yield, and reducing operating costs, to entrepreneurs who are addressing new challenges facing farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.


The 10 semi-finalist teams competed at the AFBF Convention on Friday, January 7, to advance to the final round where the four finalist teams will receive an additional $5,000 for a total of $15,000. The final four teams competed live in front of Farm Bureau members, investors, and industry representatives to win:

  • Ag Innovation Challenge Winner, for a total of $50,000

  • Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-Up, for a total of $20,000

  • People’s Choice Team, for an additional $5,000

All three Nebraska Startups were selected to pitch in the finals! Congratulations, Marble Technologies, Grain Weevil, and Birds Eye Robotics.

The final pitches represented the substantial leaps being made in the AgTech industry and the outstanding startups leading the charge.

Making Nebraska proud –

  • Grain Weevil was named the Ag Innovation Challenge Winner and $50,000!

  • Birds Eye Robotics was named the Runner-Up and $20,000.

Congratulations to The Combine Incubator startups & startups in residence – we are proud of you!


Applications for the 2023 Ag Innovation Challenge are open now. Learn more by clicking here!