Western Growers has partnered with S2G Ventures (Seed 2 Growth) to host the 2018 AgSharks™ Competition, a challenge where start-up companies can compete for a minimum of $250,000 in investment capital to support the development and growth of their businesses. The challenge calls for entrepreneurs and startups who are developing innovative solutions in food, agtech and agriculture.
Five finalists will be selected to pitch their ideas to a panel of AgSharks, consisting of venture capitalists and fresh produce farmers, during the Western Growers 93rd Annual Meeting in Palm Desert on October 30, 2018. The judges will decide on the spot whether and how much to invest. The entrepreneurs must then accept the offer, negotiate or decline. In addition to investment capital, successful entrants will receive international recognition, mentoring from S2G and Western Growers and potential access to farm acreage to pilot their technologies. All participating companies will receive complimentary conference registration for one person and one night hotel accommodations at host hotel.
AgSharks is the latest Western Growers effort to identify key innovations in the fresh produce industry and support agtech startups in bringing their technology to market. In December 2015, Western Growers opened an agtech incubator—the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology (The Center)—in Salinas, California to provide startups with the resources and mentoring needed to get their companies and technologies up and running. The Center now houses nearly 50 startups.