How the AdvancingAg Future Leaders Program Helped Propel Logan Skori’s Career Forward
by Logan Skori
According to Logan Skori, he wouldn’t be where he’s at in his career today if it weren’t for the AdvancingAg Future Leaders Program. Skori, an alumnus of the 2018-2019 program, was paired with Sarah Foster, president of 20/20 Seed Labs based in Nisku, Alberta. Foster’s mentorship proved to be highly engaging and rewarding, and following Skori’s completion of the program, the duo kept in touch. “I keep in touch with Sarah on a daily basis almost,” says Skori, explaining that Foster’s mentorship directly led to the work he’s doing today. “A group of four of us, including Sarah, founded a new company that was incorporated this year.”
During the AdvancingAg mentorship program, Skori and Foster had numerous conversations about starting a biotechnology business, and Skori is thrilled that the mentorship helped bring the idea to life.
The new company, Ag Gene, is commercializing a technology that Skori and his supervisor developed while Skori was working on his PhD at the University of Calgary: it’s a technology to increase protein content in crop cultivars.
“Now, we’re working to scale that technology up so we can distribute it to other businesses,” says Skori. “Ag Gene is focused on helping companies do gene editing in crops and advance their genetic technologies.”
Skori says that when he first joined the program back in 2018, he “never anticipated anything like this happening. But all it takes is meeting the right person and then things will evolve from there!”
Skori also believes that all the networking opportunities and relationships he formed as Foster’s mentee will be hugely beneficial as he navigates the start-up world and grows Ag Gene.
This next year looks like another exciting one for Skori. He plans to defend his PhD this spring, and at the same time, is developing Ag Gene further, expanding its technologies and exploring funding options. And Skori’s AdvancingAg mentor, Foster, will continue to provide invaluable insight.
“Sarah’s [role at Ag Gene] would be like an advisor and she’s a lot of help on the business development end of things,” says Skori. “I don’t think I’d be in the position that I’m in today if it wasn’t for the mentorship with Sarah.”