TrueAlgae’e Elevator Pitch:
TrueAlgae is pioneering the new frontier of metabolite research and development for agriculture. We are not an algae company. We are a metabolite company focused on the vast array of benefits that these tiny molecules can bring to agriculture.
Every living thing produces metabolites, and the interaction of metabolites with the environment is critical to the survival of these same living beings. Microalgae are a natural factory for a diverse range of metabolites. We envision an algae-derived platform of metabolite products to address a variety of needs in agriculture.
TrueSolum®, our first product, is an organic and proprietary metabolite blend expressed by the algae as it grows. We separate the biomass from these useful metabolites and provide this blend to farmers for use in their fields. These metabolites stimulate the natural microbial activity in the soil by signaling bacteria and fungi to release key macro and micronutrients that are sometimes bound in the soil and unavailable to the crop. TrueSolum enhances the proliferation of specific beneficial microbes by up to 1,000%. Field trials in 2022 demonstrated that TrueSolum consistently increases nutrient uptake of phosphorus, iron, zinc, and magnesium by over 20%.
How did you get the idea to start your company?
TrueAlgae believes algae-derived products can provide sustainable solutions to many of the world’s problems. Our interest in agriculture comes from being algae farmers and the understanding that the same valuable metabolites that algae produce to support its own growth and health can also be used to do the same for the microbial community in the soil. TrueAlgae can manipulate the metabolite mixture through environmental changes such as temperature, nutrient deficiencies, and other stressors. These same compounds will support the soil microbiome and the crop in similar changeable environmental conditions.
What does it mean to be a part of Plug and Play’s North Dakota Agtech Program?
Plug and Play provides a vast array of opportunities to interact with other companies in the same program, learn from experts through the workshops, and network with potential industry partners. It is a fantastic way to grow our presence in agriculture.
If your product/service was already being used by everyone globally, what impact would that have?
Our product, TrueSolum, improves the capabilities of the natural soil microbiome to release, assimilate, and support the uptake of particular nutrients by the crop. By restoring the soil microbes to a more natural state of activity, agriculture becomes less dependent on artificial or chemical inputs to support crop growth and health.
How are you incorporating growers into your business plan?
TrueAlgae works with growers by performing field trials to prove the value of TrueSolum. Through this process, we learn about best practices of growers and how we can improve our product to better fit into their normal farming operations and budget. We also work with growers to understand what challenges they are facing that are not being addressed with the current products on the market. This information provides a basis for our product development work.
Where do you see your company in 10 years?
TrueAlgae’s plans are to partner with established companies in the industry where TrueSolum, and our algae-based metabolite platform, can complement and enhance their product offerings. The possibility exists for strategic investments and/or acquisition by one of these companies.
By participating in Plug and Play’s North Dakota Agtech Program, what do you hope to accomplish? Have you considered expanding your operations to the Upper Midwest?
TrueAlgae initiated field trials in row crops in the Upper Midwest in 2022 with positive results, particularly in corn. We are repeating those trials this year and with positive results, plan to begin marketing TrueSolum in the region. With Plug and Play’s network, we hope to attract appropriate partners for these endeavors.
This magazine reaches 16,000+ farmers. In one sentence, what would you like to tell them?
Let’s work together to restore the soil’s natural microbiome to improve nutrient uptake efficiency and crop performance.