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.


Get the detailed agenda of our event

8:00 am – Registration & Networking

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

8:45 am – Opening Remarks by John Hartnett, THRIVE, SVG Ventures

9:00 am –China Agriculture Focus, Mr. Shen Wenzu, Deputy Secretary CPC, Nanjing Municipal Committee

9:20 am – Opening Keynote by Beth Ford, Land O’Lakes

9:40 am – Fireside Chat: Leading Food into the Future
With Beth Ford, Land O’Lakes and Rob Dongoski, EY

10:00 am – Panel: AgTech Investing and Key Tech Trends
With John Hartnett, SVG Ventures- THRIVE; Arama Kukutai. Finistere Ventures; Laurie Menoud, BASF Ventures; Ganesh Kishore, Spruce Capital

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

10:30 am – Break

11:00 am – Top 50 Showcase Part I

11:30 am –Panel: Digital Transformation: New Age AgTech
With 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 –Fireside Chat: Delivering a Better Food System to the Consumer Today and Tomorrow
With Vonnie Estes, PMA; Neal Gutterson, Corteva and Poornima Parameswaran, Trace Genomics

Delivering a Better Food System to the Consumer Today and Tomorrow

1:55 pm – Top 50 Showcase Part II

2:25 pm – Panel: Blockchain: A New Paradigm for Delivering Food Traceability to the Consumer
With Mareese Keane,SVG Ventures-THRIVE; 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 – Panel: Innovation and the Future of Livestock
With Aidan Connolly, AgriTech Capital, Cainthus; Aaron Schacht, Elanco; Bill Even, National Pork Board and Joe Weber, Smithfield

This session will explore the current advancements of food production technologies, as well as innovations and challenges in the alternative meat revolution.

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

4:30 pm – Panel: Automated Agriculture From Planting to Harvest
With Walt Duflock, SVG Ventures-THRIVE; 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, how AI and automation can help offset the labor problem, and how AI/ML can improve the accuracy and precision of the agricultural supply chain.

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
  • Joe Weber
    Joe Weber EVP Growth and Business Development, Smithlfield
  • Ryan Barr
    Ryan Barr Sr. Director - Information Technology, E. & J. Gallo Winery
  • Michael Chrisenten
    Michael Chrisenten Director of Global R&D Technical Services - Driscoll’s
  • Greg Young

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2018 innovation summit by the numbers





8:00 am – 6:30 pm