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The Collaborative Sorghum Marketing Transformation Program (cSmart) launched the first-ever venture capital platform focused exclusively on attracting capital for companies, projects and innovations that create opportunities for sorghum farmers.
The Collaborative Sorghum Marketing Transformation Program (cSmart) launched the first-ever venture capital platform focused exclusively on attracting capital for companies, projects and innovations that create opportunities for sorghum farmers. The platform is aimed at matching private capital with funding to support startups and established companies investing in sorghum while also facilitating a network of private investors seeking opportunities for competitive returns in agriculture.
The launch of the cSmart platform comes at a time when businesses across the U.S. are seeing the value in investing in agriculture. Sorghum, known as The Resource Conserving Crop™, is increasingly seen as a valuable investment opportunity with the most notable example of an investment in sorghum coming in October 2022 when leading global investment firm, KKR, invested $300 million in sorghum seed company Advanta. cSmart is proud to come alongside KKR and other businesses to facilitate investment in the crop.
“The number of opportunities to add value to sorghum farmers by attracting capital to our industry is truly unprecedented,” cSmart board director and sorghum farmer from Keyes, Oklahoma, JB Stewart said. “From San Francisco to New York, businesses across the U.S. are now positioning themselves to invest in agriculture, and cSmart is proud to engage these businesses in a way that facilitates further investment in sorghum, The Resource Conserving Crop™.”
The diversity of investments made by cSmart to date highlights the wide net the organization intends to cast. Investments have been made in support of a container facility for specialty sorghum exports, to match private investment with funds for marketing efforts for an all-female run sorghum food startup and to facilitate networking and due diligence for an industrial sorghum starch project. The launch of cSmart has been welcomed by industry leaders as a groundbreaking step toward financing even more innovation in the sorghum industry.
“Out of necessity bred by difficult growing environments, innovation is the American sorghum farmer’s most important tool,” cSmart board director and MOJO Seed President Jerry O’Rear said. “As a reflection of this inventive spirit, the launch of cSmart is a groundbreaking step toward financing even more innovation and doing so in a way that adds maximum value to sorghum farmers.”
Fueled by relationships across the sorghum industry and the supply chain, cSmart leverages knowledge and financial flexibility to support startups, existing companies and investors bringing innovation to the sorghum industry. The platform is expected to attract significant interest from private investors seeking investment opportunities in the growing agriculture investment space as well as startups and established companies looking to deploy innovation in sorghum.
The launch of cSmart is a significant development for the sorghum industry. With a focus on bringing value to sorghum farmers and leveraging financial and industry expertise, cSmart is well-positioned to support the growth and development of the sorghum industry for years to come. For more information on investing or obtaining support for sorghum innovation, contact cSmart consultant John Duff. Duff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 806-638-5334.
This story originally appeared in the Spring 2023 Issue of Sorghum Grower magazine.