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Episode Info: Dr. Rusty Rodriguez is the CEO of Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies (AST), an ag biotech company that has developed microbial solutions that enable plants to battle climate and environmental stress, increasing crop quality and yields. These stressors include drought, temperature stress and salty soils, to name a few. The company is selling to both commodity crop farmers and smallholder "monsoon" farmers in the absolute worst of drought conditions in India. These farmers have been able to increase crop yields with incredible results to date. In a world of increasing climate and environmental stress, this is a revolutionary technology. The company has raised more than $4 million in private funding, and received a number of grants including USAID’s Securing Water For Food Grand Challenge. Get the full show notes here. If you like the show, you can subscribe to it on any podcast app. Support us by leaving a review on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher Radio. Reviews really help the show grow and allow other people to find the show, it only takes a minute. We really appreciate it. In this interview, we cover: [2:10] What in the heck is a fungal endophyte? [2:50] The problems that AST is solving and how their products work. [6:39] Moving from the lab to commercialization [13:47] How a nerdy discussion in a bar led to research in Yellowstone National Park and ultimately the company AST. [18:42] How Rusty and the team funded their research along the way, through to starting a company. [22:41] Raising a $3.4 million Series A from Australian strategic investor and agricultural producer TwynRead more »

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