Industries in Depth

This young leader is helping farmers connect technology with agriculture

Mariana Vasconcelos is the CEO and co-founder of Brazil-based AgroSmart

Mariana Vasconcelos is the CEO and co-founder of Brazil-based AgroSmart Image: Mariana Vasconcelos

Lukas Bester
Writer, Forum Agenda
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  • Mariana Vasconcelos is the CEO and co-founder of Brazil-based AgroSmart
  • AgroSmart is the largest agricultural data network in Latin America.
  • The company acquired the largest platform for agricultural producers in South America, BoosterArgo, in 2021.

Mariana’s interest in business started at a young age at her family bakery. She subsequently studied at the Federal University of Itajubá, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Singularity University.

The first business course she joined was STEM-based and created to foster technology entrepreneurship. This inspired her to establish a cloud computing start-up. Although the start-up was unsuccessful, it led her to apply for a trainee programme at Bosch in Germany, where the company’s innovation ecosystem cultivated her knowledge of start-up development and the evolution of technologies.

Mariana's second venture focused on the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) for the industrial revolution, which soon presented the company with an opportunity to apply that knowledge to the agricultural industry – one of the main pillars of Brazil’s economy.


What is a YGL?

What motivated you to start AgroSmart and what has your experience been?

Growing up in an agricultural family and handling food from farm to table, I developed a passion for food systems. It translated into the creation of Agrosmart and in turn allowed me to reconnect with my roots and find my place in the transition of food systems.

My daily duties include interacting with the market, investors, corporate clients, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders, by which I constantly update my knowledge and build upon our vision and strategy. I also actively participate in entrepreneurial, climate, agricultural and food ecosystems, advocating for our impact commitments and helping to create an environment where we can flourish. Moreover, I engage with my leadership team weekly to monitor our progress on key projects and make the necessary adjustments in line with our company goals.

In addition to growing in the macroeconomic scenario, I consider our recent acquisition of the Argentinian company, BoosterAgro – the largest community of rural agricultural producers in South America - one of our greatest successes. This integration has firmly put us one step closer to our vision.

How can technology help us to better understand our natural environment?

Everything that is measured can be managed. Technology has an essential role in our ability to understand the environment, adapt to climate change and mitigate its risks, and support the decision-making process. In our case, Agrosmart is a platform that collects and processes data to generate insights that support 100,000 farmers in making data-driven decisions and overcoming the uncertainty of climate and climate change. Agrosmart's network of farmers aggregates information that continuously improves the quality of the insights provided and supports companies in the whole-food system to transition to a more productive, sustainable, and climate-resilient supply chain.

What is your vision for the future of AgroSmart?

We are currently working with both farms and corporations to build an operational structure to support the transition of food systems. Our next step is to launch Booster Bank by the end of the year. Embedding finance in our platform is key to supporting the adoption of technology and sustainable practices that accelerate the transition towards more productive, sustainable and climate-resilient food systems. In the future, I would love to establish a fund focused on impact investing and ESG to support other entrepreneurs in their business growth.

As one of the Forum's young global leaders, how has the community impacted your work?

Being part of the Young Global Leader community has enabled me to engage and collaborate with other remarkable young people who are changing the world. The network continues to inspire and empower us to reach our goals. Global transformation and development cannot stem from one company alone. However, a community of people eager to build and join forces can reveal new paths and expedite progress toward the 2030 Agenda.

Learn more about the Forum of Young Global Leaders here.

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