AgSharks competition accepting applications
Western Growers and S2G Ventures (Seed 2 Growth) are again partnering to host the 2019 AgSharks Competition, a pitch competition where start-up companies working on agricultural technologies compete for the opportunity to earn a $250,000 minimum investment and access to farmland to pilot their innovations. Entrepreneurs interested in pitching their agtech startups at the AgSharks Competition can apply at www.wga.com/agsharks2019. Applications close on Friday, Sept. 6.
“For three years, Western Growers has come together with S2G to provide this unique opportunity for startups to receive the feedback and seed money needed for them to bring their groundbreaking technologies from development to market,” said Tom Nassif, president and chief executive officer of Western Growers. “We are proud to continue to host this exceptional event and provide necessary resources to these starting companies that are trying to make a difference in the world by developing the technologies that will allow farmers to continue growing sustainable and nutritious fruits, vegetables and nuts year-round.”
Five finalists will be selected to pitch their ideas to a panel of AgSharks, consisting of venture capitalists and fresh produce farmers, during the Western Growers’ Annual Meeting in Maui, HI, Nov. 12. The judges will decide, on the spot, whether and how much to invest. The entrepreneurs must then accept the offer, negotiate or decline. In addition to investment capital, successful entrants will receive international recognition, mentoring from S2G and Western Growers and potential access to farm acreage to pilot their technologies. All participating companies will receive complimentary conference registration for one person, one night hotel accommodations at the host hotel and $500 for airfare.
The AgSharks Competition launched in 2017, and since then, three start-up companies have earned seed money to elevate their businesses to the next level. Augean Robotics, an agtech startup that builds fully autonomous and vision-based farming robots, was victorious in last year’s AgSharks Competition, and the $250,000 equity investment from S2G Ventures played a significant role in helping propel the robotics startup to close a $1.5 million seed round.
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Western Growers for a third consecutive year, as we search for the next great entrepreneurs delivering innovative and practical solutions to farmers,” said Sanjeev Krishnan, managing director of S2G Ventures. “The Western Growers partnership offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn directly about the challenges facing growers and receive expert advice from the WG member network. We hope to replicate the magic again this year and are excited to invest behind innovative solutions that support a more sustainable and more healthy food system.”