SALINAS, CA – Twelve of the most innovative startups in AgTech and Food Tech have been selected to participate in the THRIVE Accelerator beginning in April in Salinas, California.
36 startups from Ireland, Israel, Italy, Spain, UK and from across the U.S. pitched their technology, team, and vision for growth at the THRIVE Accelerator's Seed Camp yesterday. The initiative is driven by SVG Partners. THRIVE sponsors include leaders in both agriculture and technology: Western Growers Association; Land O’ Lakes; Taylor Farms; Verizon and the City of Salinas. The event was hosted at the new Taylor Farms Headquarters in downtown Salinas.
Each pitch was scored by a diverse group of senior judges drawn from agriculture; technology sectors; financial and investment groups; and universities. This included experts from Dole Fresh Vegetables; Taylor Farms; Land O’Lakes; Western Growers Association; Verizon; Wells Fargo; SAP; Alvarez Technology Group; Royal Rose; Crestlight Venture Productions; UC Davis and California State University, Monterey Bay.
Representatives from these industry-leading organizations and universities will mentor the Finalists during the THRIVE Accelerator from April 4th through May, 2016.
"We have been impressed with the quality of the startups presenting at yesterday’s THRIVE Seed Camp," said Hank Giclas SVP, Science, Technology & Strategic Planning of Western Growers Association and a THRIVE Accelerator Mentor “The doubling of applicants for this second edition confirms we’re building around THRIVE and WGA’s Center for Innovation and Technology a strong ecosystem of AgTech innovation.”
“The Agriculture and Food industry is facing incredible challenges nowadays and our partnership with THRIVE Accelerator is a great opportunity to meet global entrepreneurs committed to bringing innovation and solutions to this market,” said Michael Toto, director at Verizon IoT Global Product Development & Strategic Planning and newly selected THRIVE Accelerator Mentor. “We have met many THRIVE startups, focused at the intersection of IoT and Agriculture, where Verizon is already set up to bring great value and solutions."
The THRIVE finalists’ experience culminates with a final Demo Day on June 9, 2016.
Special awardees from the Demo Day will be prominently highlighted during the Forbes AgTech Summit on July 13 and 14, 2016 in Salinas; and will compete for funding and the chance to deploy their technology at one of the industry's top companies.
“Leveraging the technology expertise in Silicon Valley and the agriculture expertise in Salinas, THRIVE is an ecosystem that is bringing together a global network of innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, as well as technology and ag companies," said John Hartnett, CEO of SVG Partners. "This Accelerator is bringing some incredible energy and disruptive innovation to one of the world's most important industries. All the entrepreneurs that have pitched today are drawn together by the opportunity that arises from a huge challenge: feeding the world, sustainably."
2016 THRIVE Accelerator Program Finalists
Acuity Agriculture - Connected sensors for farms
Agribody Technologies - Yield-enhancing genetic technology
AGVOICE - Voice-interactive, hands-free data service for Ag professionals on-the-go
Edyn - Smart soil sensors and irrigation controllers for agriculture and gardening
Food Origins - Precision harvest data to high value hand crops
GeoVisual Analytics - Machine Learning-based platform to rapidly analyze crop imagery from drones
Inteligistics - Wireless temperature visibility solutions for food products
MagGrow - Magnetic spraying technology
Soliculture - Greenhouse integrated photovoltaics for combined power & agriculture
specright - Packaging management
Trace Genomics - Genomics diagnostics for soilborne diseases & early disease risk prediction
Wheyhey - High protein, sugar free ice cream