“We exist in a world of increasing complexity — water issues, variable climate, fragile supply chains, among other challenges," said Audre Kapacinskas, principal at S2G Ventures. "By working in partnership with Western Growers we seek to accelerate the adoption of new technologies that can solve real-world problems and work in tandem with industry to ensure we are directing capital to its highest and best use. Western Growers has been a phenomenal partner and we look forward to continuing to work together.”
“AgSharks is one of the highlights of the Western Growers Annual Meeting because you can see the best and brightest agtech innovators like Climate Robotics succeed in real time," said Walt Duflock, senior vice president of innovation at Western Growers. "There is nothing like the pressure cooker of telling your story to hundreds of top produce industry leaders to prove you are ready to take your technology to market.”
The funding offer was awarded by S2G Ventures after Climate Robotics competed against two other finalists inventing new technology solutions to solve agriculture’s most pressing issues. The other finalists were:
- Cultiva, a global leader in plant cuticle health technology. Its branded products — Parka and Kallur — help growers of specialty crops protect their yield from increasing environmental stresses, including those associated with extreme temperatures and untimely moisture events. Crops protected by Cultiva’s patented technology have reduced incidences of fruit cracking, sunburn, doubling, staining and coloring issues, ultimately improving growers’ overall marketable yield.
- Provision, a company whose cloud software simplifies compliance for growers in any commodity, helping them meet requirements from customers, regulators and certifications. By replacing cumbersome paperwork and complex technology with an intuitive interface, automated notifications and smart rules, Provision is helping hundreds of growers across three continents save audit time and improve process control. Tailored for small- to mid-sized operations, Provision’s ease of use and customizable data tools put powerful insights within reach from 200 acres to 20,000.
Provision was the Audience Choice Winner, as determined by the votes of those in attendance.
The three startups pitched their inventions in front of an audience of more than 300 fresh produce farmers and industry leaders during the 97th WG Annual Meeting, held in Kauai on Nov. 12-15.
The competition was hosted by Daryl Shelton, Executive Vice President at RDO Equipment Co., and judged by Briana Giampaoli, head of marketing and product innovation at Live Oak Farms; Audre Kapacinskas, principal at S2G Ventures; J.P. LaBrucherie, president at LaBrucherie Produce; and Sumeeta Salvador, associate at S2G Ventures.