SAN FRANCISCO (November 13, 2017) – SVG Partners announced today that one of the leading agriculture cooperatives, Land O’Lakes, Inc., has renewed its commitment to the THRIVE AgTech Venture and Innovation Platform for the next three years. In 2016 and 2017, Land O’Lakes brought its knowledge and experience as a judge and mentor to THRIVE, a highly selective investment program accelerating technology-enabled agricultural startups in the U.S. and globally. To date, Land O’Lakes distributes over 30 AgTech solutions through its Winfield United AnswerTech™ platform and with the help of SVG Partners’ and the THRIVE Accelerator, works to identify the next generation of breakthrough companies.
“Through our relationship with THRIVE we help guide innovative startups toward solving problems farmers have in the real world. On our WinField United Answer Plot® locations, we are able to test their ideas to determine which solutions are the most effective and efficient in the hands of our most innovative retailers and grower members,” said Mike Macrie, CIO of Land O’Lakes. At the same time, “[THRIVE] helps us to see technologies in the field much faster than if we were to wait for their own evolution.”
Mike Macrie, CIO, Land O'Lakes, and other THRIVE corporate partners speak to startup-corporate partnerships in FoodTech and AgTech.
In 2017, SVG Partners invested in 10 seed stage startups with technologies spanning biotechnology, sensors, robotics & automation, cloud services & SaaS and representing five different geographies around the globe. Starting in the spring, the 10 companies participated in a 10-week program, receiving high-level mentorship, investment, and business coaching, demoing their products before partners, investors, and media at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Salinas, CA.
Earlier in the year, Macrie keynoted THRIVE’s AgTech Innovation Forum, which brought together leading corporations, AgTech startups, universities, and growers to showcase growth stage companies making the most impact in the industry.
“Having the continued support of an industry leader like Land O’Lakes will provide the insight and access into agriculture that will help us drive meaningful innovations in food and agriculture,” said John Hartnett, Founder and CEO of SVG Partners.
Today, THRIVE will host its first-ever Growers Technology Roundtable, bringing together progressive growers of all sizes and purviews to discuss challenges, as well as showcase a spectrum of startup and enterprise technologies intended for their pain points. The event marks the first in a series of initiatives for the new THRIVE Growers Network, a program intended to build understanding about growers’ unique problems and link them to the innovation ecosystem. In February, THRIVE will host its second AgTech Innovation forum, followed in March by the kick off of its fourth seed accelerator cohort.
“We look forward to expanding THRIVE to new regions, new crops, new partners, and eventually to new countries,” said Mike Macrie, CIO of Land O’Lakes, “no other accelerator is focused on the needs of the farmer and is better positioned to help Land O’Lakes achieve its goals of feeding the planet in the most sustainable way possible.”
About Land O'Lakes, Inc.
Land O'Lakes, Inc., one of America's premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2015 annual sales of $13 billion, Land O'Lakes is one of the nation's largest cooperatives, ranking 203 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 94 years of operation, Land O'Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production including LAND O LAKES® Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition and WinField Solutions. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O'Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minn. www.landolakesinc.com
About SVG Partners and THRIVE
The THRIVE Venture & Innovation Platform works with leading corporations, startups, universities, and growers to solve the biggest challenges facing the food and agriculture industries. Yearly, THRIVE hosts a highly selective program for seed and growth stage AgTech and FoodTech startups, providing investment, top-tier mentorship, trials, and go to market support. The THRIVE Program was launched in 2014 by Silicon Valley Global Partners (SVG Partners), an investment, technology and advisory firm based in Silicon Valley, CA. www.svgpartners.com www.thriveagtech.com