Western Growers has chosen the final six start-up companies who will be competing for invaluable resources to support their growing businesses and advance the development of their innovative technologies that will be crucial to the sustainability of agriculture.
Nearly 50 startup companies applied to compete in this year’s Innovation Arena, more than doubling last year’s total of 20 applicants. After being carefully reviewed by WG’s Food Safety/Science & Technology Subcommittee, six were selected and will now advance to compete at the 91st WG Annual Meeting on November 8, 2016, in Hawaii.
Each company will pitch their ideas and technologies to the audience and a panel of agricultural industry leaders. Two winners will be chosen to receive a complimentary one-year membership with Western Growers and an opportunity to work with the WG Center for Innovation & Technology in Salinas.
The six start-up companies selected to compete are as follows:
Agralogics: Agralogics' Enhanced Irrigation Management technology uses directly observed evapotranspiration to generate real-time irrigation work orders, analyze information from multiple sources on dashboards and enable comparative analytics to improve irrigation efficiency.
California Safe Soil: California Safe Soil recycles food from supermarkets that can no longer be sold or donated, converting it into Harvest-to-Harvest fertilizer (H2H), for use in commercial and organic fertilizer and feed and retail lawn and garden markets.
CropX: CropX integrates proven reliable soil moisture measuring hardware with a robust cellular communication system and state of the art mobile applications to create a soil moisture measurement system that is simple, affordable and actionable.
DeepLook: DeepLook builds weeding robots that can go through the field autonomously, distinguish weed from the crop and mechanically remove weeds. One of the robots can weed up to 4 acres a day and cost only around $50k, which makes it a very competitive alternative for current weeding processes in U.S. vegetable farms.
Harvest CROO Robotics: Harvest CROO Robotics is developing a fully autonomous robotic harvester for fresh strawberries. The business model is to lease machines to growers on a per box basis to emulate how they do business now, which is to pay humans a piece-rate.
Trace Genomics: Trace Genomics has launched a genetic test for soil microbes to give growers an unprecedented look into the biology of their soil. Trace Genomics makes it easy for any grower to send in a soil sample and, within just a few weeks, receive an actionable report on both beneficial and harmful microbes that are found in the sample.
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