IRVINE, Calif. (October 28, 2021) – Out of more than 100 applicants, five agtech start-up companies have been selected to go head-to-head in the Western Growers/S2G Ventures 2021 AgSharks® Competition to win a $250,000 minimum investment and potential access to farm acreage to pilot their technologies. These startups, which are all developing systems and technologies that promote a more healthy and sustainable food and agriculture system, will pitch their inventions to a panel of AgSharks Judges in front of 400 fresh produce farmers and industry leaders during the WG Annual Meeting in San Diego on November 9, 2021.
The selected companies are as follows:
- 3Bar Biologics: 3Bar Biologics provides farmers with the most cost-effective, sustainable and biological products that are activated in a self-contained package, delivering 100 percent fresh microbes at the time of application.
- Boost Biomes: Using state-of-the-art DNA sequencing to identify microbial products that could be sold in the commercial marketplace, Boost Biomes’ solutions can be used in both the food and agriculture sectors.
- Global Water Innovations: Global Water Innovations brings to market a basket of emerging breakthrough technologies that will undercut current market pricing by 30 percent for desalination of both brackish groundwater and produced water.
- Naïo Technologies: Naïo Technologies develops autonomous software for agriculture, enabling autonomous field operations, fleet management and “intelligent farming” while providing fast return on investment for growers as well as facilitating more sustainable farming practices.
- Vivent SA: Vivent SA uses unique, patented, electrophysiology sensors and artificial intelligence to give farmers instantaneous insight into crop health.
In addition to investment capital and access to farmland, the winning startup(s) will receive international recognition, mentoring from S2G and WG and access to WG’s expansive network of leading fresh produce companies.
WG and S2G also announced the slate of AgSharks Judges who will be offering feedback, equity investment offers, acreage for use in pilot programs or a combination of the three. The panel—which is comprised of growers, shippers, processors and venture capitalists—is as follows:
- Alexandra Allen, Compliance Counsel, Main Street Produce, Inc.
- Audre Kapacinskas, Vice President, S2G Ventures
- Frank Maconachy, President and CEO, Ramsay Highlander, Inc.
- Dominic Muzzi Jr., CEO/COO, Muzzi Family Farms, LLC
- Cristina Rohr, Principal, S2G Ventures
- Matthew Walker, Managing Director, S2G Ventures
Western Growers and S2G Ventures created the AgSharks Competition in 2017 to identify key innovations in the fresh produce industry and support agtech startups in bringing their technology to market. To date, three companies (Hazel Technologies, AgVoice and Burro) have received $2.5 million total in funding from the competition.
About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in California, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Western Growers members and their workers provide over half the nation's fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including half of America's fresh organic produce. Connect and learn more about Western Growers on Twitter and Facebook.
About S2G Ventures:
S2G Ventures is a multi-stage venture fund investing across the food, agriculture, oceans and seafood markets. The fund's mission is to catalyze innovation to meet consumer demands for healthy and sustainable food systems. S2G has identified sectors across the food system that are ripe for change and is building a multi-stage portfolio including seed, venture and growth-stage investments. Core areas of interest for S2G are agriculture, oceans, ingredients, infrastructure and logistics, IT and hardware, food safety and technology, retail and restaurants, and consumer brands. S2G Ventures is a part of Builders Private Capital, the direct investment arm of Builders Vision, an impact platform dedicated to building a humane and healthy planet. For more information about S2G, visit s2gventures.com, tune in to our podcast, or connect with us on LinkedIn.