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March 22, 2016

Get Ready, Set, Pitch!

Start-up companies from around the world will be competing in an agtech pitch competition today and tomorrow to earn a coveted spot in the THRIVE Accelerator Program.

THRIVE Accelerator, which is hosted by SVG Partners and supported by sponsors such as Western Growers and Taylor Farms, is a highly-selective mentorship and investment program for agtech and foodtech startups. Of the 200 applications received this year, 35 have been chosen to travel to Salinas, Calif. to pitch their companies to a panel of judges and experts. Alec Leach, President, Taylor Farms; Vic Smith, President & CEO, JVSmith Companies; Joe Ferrari, Vice President, Ag Operations, Dole Fresh Vegetables; Dennis Donohue, President, Royal Rose Raddichio; and Hank Giclas, Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Science & Technology will be among the judges.

From this “Seed Camp,” 10 companies will be selected to participate in an 8-week acceleration program where they will have direct access to some of the world’s top agriculture companies. Once these 10 companies have gone through this extensive “boot camp” training, they will have the opportunity to pitch their product and solution one last time. One winner will be chosen and recognized at the Forbes AgTech Summit in July.

This year, part of the judging and review process will take place at the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology (WGCIT). Companies that are overseas and unable to travel to Salinas will be pitching to the judges virtually through Skype and Google Hangouts. The remaining competitors will be vetted and judged upstairs in the Taylor Farms’ offices. Judges will determine the winners based on strength of team leadership, business plans, competitive position and solution/product.

For more information, please contact Hank Giclas at (949) 885-2205.