Anthony Wainman, left, chief technology officer and cofounder of PalleTech, chats May 18 with Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer for the Produce Marketing Association, at the PMA Tech Knowledge symposium in Santa Clara, Calif. PalleTech and Soliculture were the winners in a “What’s the Pitch?” session for startup companies cosponsored by the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology.
Anthony Wainman, left, chief technology officer and cofounder of PalleTech, chats May 18 with Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer for the Produce Marketing Association, at the PMA Tech Knowledge symposium in Santa Clara, Calif. PalleTech and Soliculture were the winners in a “What’s the Pitch?” session for startup companies cosponsored by the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Two technology companies, PalleTech and Soliculture, got their foot in the door with the Produce Marketing Association and Western Growers Association, winning a “What’s the Pitch?” competition for startups.

A panel of five judges at the PMA Tech Knowledge symposium May 18 in Santa Clara, Calif., favored PalleTech, while attendees chose Soliculture, which offers greenhouse panels that convert green to red light to enhance power production and plant growth.

Five startups made pitches in a session cosponsored by the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology. The winners receive Western Growers memberships and passes to PMA Fresh Summit.

PalleTech works with pallet companies to install a central plank that’s internet connected. Expected benefits include tracking assets, monitoring cargo condition and security, detecting hot spots and analyzing routes, said cofounder and chief technology officer Anthony Wainman.

PalleTech has raised about $500,000 to date, Wainman said, and is seeking another $1.5 million over the next nine months.

“Once we aggregate more and more, we can do anonymized supplier rating, rerouting and telling the Costco’s of the world what the actual (estimated time of arrivals) are going to be like,” he said. Over time, the data collected could bring PalleTech into other markets and lines of business, such as insurance.