Curious about the tenants at Innovation Place?
Check out our Meet the Tenants series to learn more about them and what they do.


Meet the Tenants

Insight Plant Health

Innovation Place tenant since
January 2021

Building
LFK Biotechnology Complex

Park
Innovation Place, Saskatoon

Tell us about Insight Plant Health!

Insight Plant Health is an agricultural service company that provides solutions to the plant health problems of other businesses. We provide plant disease identification services, produce pathogen spores for use in inoculated field trials and provide plant health product testing and development services.

We aim to provide boutique laboratory services that you can’t find anywhere else: our customers range from other startups to commodity groups to large multinationals, and we tailor our services to meet their needs.

What is Insight Plant Health's proudest achievement?

Insight Plant Health is only 8 months old, so, we're just proud to be operating and providing great service to our customers. I don’t know of anyone else who left their office job in the middle of a pandemic to start a debt-financed laboratory without an existing customer base, so it’s a mixture of pride, naivety and optimism.

How has Insight Plant Health adapted during the pandemic?

It’s all we know — we’re a pandemic company! It was a happy day though when Danna, our Lab Technician and myself, were both fully vaccinated and could take our masks off in the lab.

What’s one thing Insight Plant Health cannot function without?

It’s probably a tie between the biosafety hood and the PCR machine — they are both running every day. And Diet Coke, lots of Diet Coke.

Why do you love working in Saskatchewan?

Saskatchewan has the most cultivated acres of any province in Canada and remains Canada’s breadbasket, so it makes a lot of sense as a place for an agricultural service lab. Apart from that, Saskatchewan is home for me and my family, and summer in Saskatchewan with Jazz Fest, Folk Fest, Rider games, sunshine, fishing, patios and all the rest of it can’t be beat!

What does the future of Saskatchewan tech look like to you?

I think it’s an exciting time for Ag Tech in Saskatchewan. There’s a good core of agricultural business and research here and I think the combination of new tools in plant breeding, broader acceptance (and improved efficacy) of ag biologicals, and the slow trickle of venture capital starting to come here will make for an exciting few years in the space.

How does Innovation Place help you thrive in Saskatchewan’s tech sector? (We had to ask!)

If you’re looking to start a lab in Saskatoon, Innovation Place is really the only game in town. They also provide pretty flexible options for startups in terms of short-term and month-to-month leasing for space and equipment, which would be tough and expensive to set up outside of a place like Innovation Place.

The park is also very well kept and a great place to walk around when you have a break. I really wish Boffins would re-open; it was a great place to meet for lunch and drinks. Once Pi O’Clock starts back up in September, balance will once again be restored in the park.

What’s the #1 piece of advice you give to people?

I try not to provide or accept unsolicited advice. Since you asked though, my advice would be: don’t listen to advice. Consult subject matter experts for the answers you need, but for general advice, trust your gut, pray or consult the I Ching — nobody else has the answer.


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- 2021