MARCH 27 @ 8:00 AM – 6:30 PM


about the event


The THRIVE Innovation Summit is held annually in Silicon Valley and each year attracts 250+ agribusiness leaders, investors, agtech and foodtech startups, and California and Midwest growers. The summit is a unique opportunity to meet and hear from our THRIVE Top 50, fifty companies shaping the future of the agriculture supply chain as well as leaders of Fortune 500 food and  agriculture corporations implementing these disruptive technologies.

The Innovation Summit will include an Innovation Showcase featuring THRIVE Top 50 startups, THRIVE Accelerator companies and alumni as well as panels and fireside chats covering topics such as blockchain, indoor/vertical farming, biotechnology and automated agriculture.

keynote speaker

Beth Ford, CEO, Land O’LAKES

Beth Ford is the 9th President and Chief Executive Officer at Land O’Lakes, Inc., a role she was named to July 26, 2018. Ford was named President and CEO by Land O’Lakes board of directors after a series of successful executive postings within the company since she joined in 2011.

Most recently, as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Land O’Lakes Businesses. Beth was respondible for the Purina Animal Nutrition, U.S. Dairy Foods and WinField United businesses, wich reported 2017 net sales totaling $14 billion.


Know the detailed agenda of our event

8:00 am – Registration & Networking

8:30 am – Welcome From Mayor Lisa Gillmor, City of Santa Clara

8:40 am – Opening Remarks by John Hartnett, THRIVE, SVG Ventures

9:00 am – Opening Keynote by Beth Ford, Land O’Lakes

9:20 am – Fireside Chat between Beth Ford (Land O’Lakes) and Rob Dongoski (EY)

9:45 am – Investment Panel feat. John Hartnett (THRIVE, SVG Ventures), Arama Kukutai (Finistere Ventures), Laurie Menoud (BASF Ventures), and Ganesh Kishore (Spruce Capital)

How the investment industry will continue to redefine Ag and Food Tech in the future

10:15 am – Break

10:45 am – Top 50 Showcase Part I

11:15 am – Digital Transformation Panel feat. Michael Kanazawa (EY), Darryl Matthews (Trimble), Claudia Rossler (MSFT) and Teddy Bekele (Land O’Lakes)

This session will explore the current state of precision agriculture technologies available, how food producers are using them to increasing production and yields, and where the next wave of innovations and development will happen in the agriculture digitalization space.

12:05 pm – Lunch and Networking

1:15 pm – Ag Biotech Fireside Chat feat. Vonnie Estes (PMA), Neal Gutterson (Corteva) and Poornima Parameswaran (Trace Genomics)

The Potential of Biotechnology to Address Critical Food Security Issues

1:55 pm – Top 50 Showcase Part II

2:25 pm – Blockchain Panel feat. Mareese Keane (THRIVE, SVG Ventures), Deborah Magid (IBM Ventures), Ryan Barr (E&J Gallo), and Peter Jorgensen (Maersk)

This session will explore the value proposition that blockchain brings to agriculture and food, the importance of transparency and integrity in the food industry, and practical applications of blockchain across the agricultural supply chain.

2:55 pm – Break

3:40 pm – Forbes Partnership Session feat. Sherry Forbes

3:50 pm – Animal Health/Livestock Panel feat. Aidan Connolly (AgriTech Capital, Cainthus), Aaron Schacht (Elanco), Bill Even (NPB) and Joe Weber (Smithfield)

Innovation and the Future of Livestock – Changing Consumer Demands and New Proteins

4:20 pm – International Perspective Speed Talk feat. Laurent Martel (InVIVO France)

4:30 pm – Automated Agriculture Panel feat. Walt Duflock (THRIVE, SVG Ventures), Manish Kothari (SRI) and Michael Christensen (Driscoll’s)

This session will explore the viability of utilizing AI and robotics solutions to increase agricultural productivity and automation

5:00 pm – Closing Remarks feat. John Hartnett, THRIVE, SVG Ventures

5:20 pm – Networking Reception


  • Laurie Menoud
    Laurie Menoud Investment Manager, BASF Venture Capital America Inc.
  • Adam Bergman
    Adam Bergman Senior Vice President, CleanTech Banking & Head of AgTech Practice, Wells Fargo
  • Aaron Schacht
    Aaron Schacht EVP – Innovation, Regulatory & Business Development, Elanco
  • Sherry Phillps
    Sherry Phillps SVP, Forbes Live
  • Mareese Keane
    Mareese Keane Platform Director, THRIVE
  • Neal Gutterson
    Neal Gutterson CTO, Corteva Argiscience
  • Darryl Matthews
    Darryl Matthews Sector Vice President, Natural Resources, Trimble
  • Laurent Martel
    Laurent Martel Director General, InVivo
  • Xuemei Germaine
    Xuemei Germaine CEO, MicroGen Biotech
  • Rob Dongoski
    Rob Dongoski Partner, Global Agribusiness Leader, EY
  • Arama Kukutai
    Arama Kukutai Managing Partner, Finistere Ventures
  • Claudia Rössler
    Claudia Rössler Director Industry Solutions, Strategic Business Development, Chemical & Agriculture, Microsoft
  • Aidan Connolly
    Aidan Connolly President, Alltech/ AgriTech Capital
  • Vonnie Estes
    Vonnie Estes Vice President of Technology, Produce Marketing Association
  • Kirk Bresniker
    Kirk Bresniker Hewlett Packard Labs Chief Architect, HPE
  • Minsoo Pak
    Minsoo Pak Principal, EY
  • Michael Kanazawa
    Michael Kanazawa Global Innovation Realized Leader and Americas Corporate & Growth Strategy Leader, EY
  • Walt Duflock
    Walt Duflock Managing Partner, SVG Partners, THRIVE
  • John Hartnett
    John Hartnett CEO, Founder, THRIVE, SVG Partners
  • Poornima Parameswaran
    Poornima Parameswaran Ph.D, CO-Founder, Trace Genomics
  • Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen
    Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen Venture Partner, Maersk Growth
  • Deborah Magid
    Deborah Magid Director, Software Strategy, IBM Ventures
  • Lisa Gillmor
    Lisa Gillmor Mayor, City of Santa Clara
  • Bill Even
    Bill Even Chief Executive Officer, National Pork Board
  • Manish Kothari
    Manish Kothari President, SRI Ventures
  • Teddy Bekele
    Teddy Bekele VP AG Technology, Winfield, Land O’Lakes

join thrives executive network

2018 innovation summit by the numbers





8:00 am – 6:30 pm