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Picture of Cornell President, Steve Sibulkin and Greg Levow

Cornell President David Skorton delivers remarks during a Jan. 8 event honoring Agronomic Technology Corp., the first “graduates” of Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences From left are Skorton, McGovern Center Director Lou Walcer, and Agronomic Technology co-founders Steve Sibulkin and Greg Levow ’04.

Over 10 years ago, Adapt-N originated in the lab of Harold van Es. He and his lab tested Adapt-N in thousands of farmers’ fields in several states, thanks to the support of federal and private grant funding. The first version of Adapt-N was created in 2005 and the first web edition launched in 2008.

From there demand grew rapidly and the Cornell team realized they needed a company to manage the software so they could focus on their primary work: research. After licensing the product through the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization, van Es connected with Greg Levow, Steve Sibulkin and Holly Trytten, who together co-founded Agronomic Technology Corp (ATC).

ATC took over management of Adapt-N at the end of 2013 through a unique public-private partnership with the university. Bolstered by a $2.3 million venture capital investment, the startup  moved on from its first home in Cornell’s life sciences business incubator, a little more than a year after it arrived, and was successfully launched for commercial use for the 2014 season. van Es remains a scientific consultant for the company.

It was announced on November 6, 2017 that Yara International ASA completed the acquisition of ATC. Yara is a Norway-based leader in the fertilizer industry and the largest global manufacturer of synthetic nitrogen with a retail presence in 160 countries. The acquisition of ATC is in line with Yara’s strategy to accelerate its investments in digital farming and sustainability. You can read more about the Yara acquisition in the Cornell Chronicle.

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