IRVINE, CALIF. (Oct. 21, 2022) – Western Growers and S2G Ventures have announced the three finalists that will compete in the 2022 AgSharks Competition, a unique event where startup companies pitch their innovations in front of a live audience of the world’s largest specialty crop producers to win a $250,000 minimum investment.
The finalists are:
- En Solucion works in the agtech sector to improve food safety through development of novel methods for cleaning and sanitizing. Current projects include exploring the feasibility of employing nanotechnology to replace traditional post-harvest chlorine wash.
- Nutjobs transforms nutshell waste into bio-benign plastic alternative products that are bio-based, compostable and derived from secondary agricultural waste. By transforming nutshell waste into bio-benign plastics, Nutjobs creates plastic substitutes that are cost effective and environmentally sustainable.
- SWAN Systems helps water managers make the most out of every drop of water. The company’s configurable water and nutrient management software helps farmers make data-driven decisions about how much and when to irrigate; enabling them to apply only what is needed for optimal plant growth.
These startups will pitch their inventions to these judges in front of an audience of more than 300 fresh produce farmers and industry leaders during the WG Annual Meeting in Las Vegas on Nov. 2-5, 2022.
The competition will be hosted by Stuart Woolf, President and CEO of Woolf Farming & Processing, and judged by Neill Callis, the General Manager of Turlock Fruit Company; Audre Kapacinskas, Principal at S2G Ventures; Aaron Rudberg, COO and Managing Director at S2G Ventures and Kristen Smith Eschaya, President of JV Smith Cos.
AgSharks was first held in 2017, and through the competition, past winners Hazel Technologies and Burro have since brought their products from development to market. Hazel Technologies has raised over $87.8 million in funding over six rounds and is advancing the industry with sachets that extend the shelf life of fresh produce by as much as three times. Burro raised a $10.9 million Series A round in September 2021 led by S2G Ventures and Toyota Ventures and continues to help solve farmers’ labor woes with the expansion of its fleet of autonomous robots to farms across the west.
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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, the direct investment team of Builders Vision, partners with entrepreneurs who are working on solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges across the food, agriculture, oceans, and clean energy markets. We provide capital, mentorship and value-added resources to companies pursuing innovative market-based solutions that generate positive social, environmental and financial returns. We provide our partners with flexible capital solutions that can range from seed and venture funding through growth equity to debt and infrastructure financing. For more information about S2G, visit s2gventures.com, tune-in to our podcast, or connect with us on LinkedIn.