Photograph courtesy of J. Rumans Photography.
THRIVE, an agriculture and food tech accelerator company, is accepting applications for a new cohort of startups for their Accelerator program. They are looking for seed and growth stage companies involved in big data, analytics, robotics and automation, next generation farms, biotechnology, food tracking and tracing, and e-commerce.
“Through our partnership with THRIVE we help startups get to a chunk of the market and get to farm acres to test their products for efficiencies and effectivity,” said Mike Macrie, CIO of Land O’Lakes.
This is the fourth year of the program, which invites 10 to 12 companies to Silicon and Salinas Valley for 10 weeks. Companies are paired with a mentor, receive US$100,000 in exchange for 5 percent equity, and attend presentations by leaders in the industry about business, marketing, and legal issues. In addition to networking events, companies also have the opportunity to present at the Forbes AgTech Summit.
“[THRIVE] helps us to see technologies in the field much faster than if we were to wait for their own evolution,” said Liron Brish, CEO of Farm Dog, a THRIVE Accelerator program participant, “[We] have doubled our acres under management, added 2,000 new fields, and increased total field visits threefold—which is how we define user engagement.”
Previous THRIVE Accelerator participants include a number of companies focused on increasing efficiency in the food system. Brazil-based AgroSmart uses satellite imagery and in-field sensors to monitor soil moisture, microclimates, energy consumption, and other factors that allow farmers to more efficiently manage field inputs like irrigation. AgShift uses machine learning and sensors to track supply chains, such as tracking produce freshness as it is harvested and transported, making the process more transparent and identifying improvements. TortugaAgTech focuses on automating food production, processing, and packaging that increases efficiency while decreasing water use and labor.
THRIVE was created by the investment firm SVG Partners in 2014 to help build and scale innovative food and agriculture companies. They broadly focus on food security, labor, and availability of resources, all expected to be important strains on food production with global population growth. By developing a network of corporate partners, they hope to provide mentorship opportunities, exposure, and investment for startups, helping to develop, test, and demonstrate products. Additionally, they identify problems and potential solutions at partner companies to improve efficiency.
“THRIVE Accelerator provided invaluable connectivity at the highest levels of industry through ongoing face to face interactive opportunities,” said Dr. Nora Khalid, CSO and Founder of Nuritas, a THRIVE Accelerator program participant, “THRIVE and Salinas have been true rocket fuel to Nuritas.”
To learn more or apply for the THRIVE Accelerator program, click here.