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Plug and Play: Unibaio

Unibaio (left) | L’Oréal-UNESCO Argentine National Award 2020 (right)

Unibaio’s Elevator Pitch:

Unibaio is a nanotech startup founded by a group of Argentinean scientists that aims to reduce the environmental impact of the agrochemical industry by introducing a proprietary delivery tech. They’ve developed a new and innovative biodegradable nanocapsule by utilizing natural polymers, which can effectively decrease the active ingredient in all agrochemical formulas by up to 80%. The company provides a new approach for the agrochemical industry that meets the demands of new environmental regulations and allows farmers to continue using effective pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers while decreasing the need for harmful chemicals and preventing pollution caused by their use.


How did you get the idea to start your company?

The idea for Unibaio, a company that offers innovative solutions for agrochemicals, emerged after ten years of research at an Argentine university. The CTO, Claudia, was born in a small agricultural town in the province of Buenos Aires, where her father flew crop dusters. After studying biology at UC Davis, Claudia became a researcher and sought alternative ways to protect plants in a more effective and environmentally friendly way.

It was her son, who studied materials engineering, who introduced Claudia to her current partner, Vera, a scientist specializing in nanotechnology who was also a researcher at the same Argentine university. Together, they proposed investigating how materials science could improve pesticide delivery and create biological formulations that could be as efficient as synthetic ones. Despite these two fields not commonly working together, Claudia and Vera combined their knowledge and embarked on a 10-year development project.

Finally, they developed the technology that Unibaio now commercializes for agrochemical companies as a tool to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their formulations, whether biological or synthetic. The idea for Unibaio arose from the need to find a more effective and environmentally friendly solution to protect plants, and it was through the collaboration of two scientists from seemingly disparate fields that they were able to develop this innovative technology.

What does it mean to be a part of Plug and Play’s North Dakota Agtech Program?

Being a part of Plug and Play’s North Dakota Agtech Program means joining a community of innovators who are pushing the boundaries of agriculture technology and creating solutions that have a positive impact on the environment. For Unibaio, it means having the opportunity to showcase their nanotech startup and their innovative biodegradable nanocapsule to an audience of industry experts, investors, and potential collaborators.

Unibaio’s technology is not only groundbreaking but also essential in today’s world, where there is a growing concern about the environmental impact of the agrochemical industry. By reducing the active ingredient in agrochemical formulas by up to 80%, Unibaio’s solution allows farmers to continue using effective pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers while decreasing the need for harmful chemicals and preventing pollution caused by their use.

As part of Plug and Play’s North Dakota Agtech Program, Unibaio has the opportunity to collaborate with other startups and experts in the field, and to benefit from the program’s resources and network. It’s a chance for Unibaio to take their solution to the next level and to make a real difference in the agriculture industry.

In addition, being a part of the North Dakota Agtech Program also means that a startup can gain exposure to potential customers and partners in North Dakota’s agriculture industry, which could help to accelerate their growth and success in the market. Overall, participating in Plug and Play’s North Dakota Agtech Program can provide valuable resources and connections to startups in the agriculture industry in North Dakota.

If your product/service was already being used by everyone globally, what impact would that have?

If Unibaio’s cutting-edge delivery technology were to be adopted globally, the impact could be enormous, according to CEO Matias Figliozzi. The technology, which is both cost-effective and scalable, could significantly reduce the market share of traditional synthetic pesticides, which often contain toxic and harmful ingredients that damage the environment. Additionally, Unibaio’s innovative approach could lead to greater adoption of biological alternatives, which would be a major boon for farmers and consumers alike. Moreover, the concentrated formulation developed by Unibaio could be a game-changer for other startups, such as those working on robotics for farmers, by improving their application capacity. For farmers themselves, Unibaio’s approach could mean more affordable and sustainable pesticides and phytosanitaries, which could have a positive impact on their bottom line. Overall, by decreasing the use of toxic compounds found in traditional agrochemicals, Unibaio’s technology has the potential to revolutionize agriculture and food production worldwide, while improving the quality of the food we consume.

L’Oréal-UNESCO Argentine National Award 2020

How are you incorporating growers into your business plan?

At our company, we firmly believe in the power of collaboration. That’s why we make it a top priority to work closely with growers to incorporate their valuable input into our business plan. By partnering with growers, we are able to take their feedback and recommendations to heart, allowing us to develop our technology from the lab and into the real world with greater success.

Growers are an integral part of our business plan, and we actively seek out their opinions and suggestions to help define our priorities, like how can we determine which pesticides are causing the most environmental issues or which biological products should we prioritize to improve their effectiveness. Through this collaboration, we are able to tailor our products and services to better meet the needs of the growers we serve through agrochemical companies.

Where do you see your company in 10 years?

In 10 years, I envision Unibaio as a leading force in sustainable agriculture, with our technology being the new standard in agrochemical formulation. Our innovative delivery system will have revolutionized the way crops are protected, making traditional synthetic pesticides a thing of the past. Instead, farmers all around the world will be using Unibaio’s environmentally-friendly and affordable products to keep their crops healthy and thriving.

Not only that, but we will have expanded our operations to other industries beyond agriculture, using our technology to address other global challenges such as water pollution and soil regeneration. Our company will be a shining example of how science and innovation can be harnessed for the greater good, and we will continue to prioritize sustainability and social impact in everything we do.

I am excited to see how Unibaio will grow and evolve in the coming years, and I am confident that our team’s passion and dedication will continue to drive us toward a more sustainable and prosperous future.

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?

We hope to accomplish several goals by participating in Plug and Play’s North Dakota Agtech Program. Firstly, we hope to collaborate with other innovative startups and industry leaders to develop cutting-edge technologies that can address the challenges facing agriculture today. We also look forward to gaining insight into the unique needs and opportunities of the North Dakota agricultural landscape, which could help us tailor our solutions to better meet the needs of farmers and other stakeholders in the region.

As for expanding our operations to the Upper Midwest, it’s definitely something we’re considering. The region has a rich agricultural history and is home to many innovative farmers who are eager to adopt new technologies that can help them improve their yields and reduce their environmental impact. If we see a strong potential synergy in the Upper Midwest, we would certainly be open to exploring expansion opportunities in the region. We are deciding where to relocate our HQ in the US.

This magazine reaches 16,000+ farmers. In one sentence, what would you like to tell them?

To the 16,000+ farmers reading this magazine, we at Unibaio are here to help accelerate the transition to more sustainable agriculture!

What do you think?

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