When it comes to pesticides, precision counts. You want to maximize the amount that reaches the pest,” explains Darren Anderson, Founder and Chief Communications Officer of Vive Crop Protection. “At the same time, you want to minimize the amount that escapes into the environment.”
That’s exactly what Vive’s nano-engineered shuttle makes possible, providing a targeted delivery system for agricultural chemicals. “We’re taking already-existing active ingredients that have a history of safe use and a history of excellent performance, and we’re helping them be used in new ways,” Anderson says. “It’s really all about getting the right product to the right place at the right time.”
As newcomers to the field of agriculture, the company’s founders turned to Bioenterprise Corporation. “We wanted to talk to some folks that were experts in agricultural applications of new technologies,” says Anderson. “They were very obviously the best people to call.”
The agri-business accelerator provided seed funding to support Vive’s product launch. Bioenterprise also made introductions to investors, sponsored the company’s attendance at key industry meetings and coordinated brainstorming sessions with sector leaders to pinpoint the applications with greatest potential.
Thanks in part to that help, Vive Crop Protection launched its first line-up of EPA-registered offerings in 2016: a fungicide, an insecticide and a combined formula, all aimed at corn, soy, potatoes and other row crops. U.S. growers welcomed them enthusiastically. “The feedback from the market has been incredible,” says Anderson. “I think the products are going to be very, very successful.”
Trials show that Vive’s fungicide increases yields by an average of 8.8 bushels per acre. Unlike other fungicides, it mixes with starter fertilizer, saving farmers valuable time and reducing soil compaction by avoiding the need to make different passes for different products.
Vive Crop Protection has come a long way since Anderson first began developing the delivery system as a doctoral student in chemistry at the University of Toronto. Today, the company boasts 35 employees, a network of distribution partners and what Anderson describes as one of the best formulation labs in North America.
In October 2016, they secured a round of growth financing led by Radar Capital to support commercial expansion. Now with four new products slated for release in 2017 and a slew more in the pipeline, Vive is ready to put those dollars to work. “There’s a huge opportunity, and we’re really leading the pack,” says Anderson. “I really think the sky’s the limit.”