Later-Stage Agtech Startup Lessons #1 - Michael Gilbert, Semios

Michael Gilbert - Founder & CEO, Semios

In this 3-part series, we’ll share the lessons from agtech startup founders who have grown their agtech companies from idea to at least 100 employees. We’ll be examining what’s worked (and hasn’t), differences between agtech and other industries, and what the founders have learned along the way about the industry and themselves. 

This episode, the first in the series, features Michael Gilbert, CEO and founder of Semios, a crop management platform initially focused on tree fruit, nuts and vines, based in Canada.

Michael has a PhD in chemistry and started his career in pharmaceuticals and biotech, before realizing his knowledge could be applied to agricultural inputs. This initial idea has led him on a journey from biologicals, to creating a company with more than 300 employees and over $225 million in external capital raised to date.

Michael discusses:

  • The importance of iterating your idea, technology, and business based on customer input.

  • Hiring tips and challenges as you expand from needing generalists to specialists.

  • How to create a culture that rewards failure (and why this is hard in an agricultural context).

Useful Resources

Key takeaways