Last week, the Advisory Board of the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology met in Salinas, Calif., to discuss strategies and tactics to advance agtech, as well as hear “speed pitches” from 15 of the 45 startups working out of the Center. The Advisory Board, comprised of WGCIT sponsors and leaders from the most innovative growers and shippers in ag, engaged in discussion about top issues concerning growers, including advancing mechanized harvest and creating technologies to ease the cost and burden of regulatory compliance.
Hank Giclas, Western Growers’ senior vice president, strategic planning, science & technology, and Dennis Donohue, head of the WGCIT, led a brainstorm on how WG and the WGCIT Advisory Board can help further facilitate industry adoption of the technologies. Additionally, the board discussed ways to promote and support the startups in the Center; foster startups’ access to the ag industry; showcase performance and capability of agtech startups; ensure financial viability and growth of budding technologies; and establish the WGCIT as a hub for agtech advancement.
A highlight of the board meeting was the “speed pitch,” where the startups in the Center presented a 90-second introduction to their company, their technology and their solution to an agriculture issue. There, the startups were able to make a more personal connection with board members and many of the advisors noted individuals and companies they wanted to follow-up with after the speed pitch. Participating startups included the following: Aggrigator, AgTech Industries, AgVoice, Alta Energy, Ayrstone, California Safe Soil, Concentric Power, FarmWise, Food Origins, Harvesting Inc, HeavyConnect, IWN, LotPath, RootsTalk and TracMap.
The meeting concluded with a networking mixer at the WGCIT where advisory board members mingled with the startup residents over refreshments. Pictures from the meeting can be found on the WG Center for Innovation & Technology’s Facebook Page.
For more information, contact Hank Giclas at (949) 885-2205.