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Little Rock Startup Wins Big at 2017 Talent Unleashed Awards

Layne Fortenberry of Little Rock startup Grainster

Little Rock-based startup Grainster took home the global prize in the “Best Idea” category of the 2017 Talent Unleashed Awards.

Grainster, the brainchild of Layne Fortenberry, is an online grain trading platform that allows farmers to set their prices and market rice, corn and other grains nationally and internationally. According to Forternberry, the trading-focused technology was designed to enhance global food security and small farm strength.

Grainster’s mission is to expand trading opportunities on a global scale for farmers and buyers. In a previous press release, officials with the Talent Unleashed Awards praised Grainster for envisioning a “new horizon in agricultural value, service and profitability” by “freeing growers to offer their production directly to a global buying audience.”

Grainster was selected as a finalist by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and investor-philanthropist Sir Richard Branson in Talent Unleashed’s “Best Idea – One To Watch” category. On Thursday, in Melbourne, Australia, Fortenberry’s start-up was named global winner. 

Global grand prize category winners will attend a VIP lunch with Wozniak, as part of an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley. The trip also features tours of the nation’s leading tech companies and an opportunity to meet with some of the best and brightest in the digital and tech industry.

Photo courtesy of Crissy Fortenberry

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