( AgSharks )

AgSharks are back and ready to invest in ag technology.

Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers and S2G Ventures are again partnering to host the 2019 AgSharks Competition, according to a news release.

The event is a “pitch” competition where startup companies working on agricultural technologies compete for the opportunity to earn a $250,000 minimum investment and access to farmland to pilot their innovations, according to the release.

Entrepreneurs interested in pitching their agtech startups at the AgSharks Competition can apply online.  Applications close Sept. 6.

“For three years, Western Growers has come together with S2G to provide this unique opportunity for startups to receive the feedback and seed money needed for them to bring their groundbreaking technologies from development to market,” Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers, said in the release. “We are proud to continue to host this exceptional event and provide necessary resources to these starting companies that are trying to make a difference in the world by developing the technologies that will allow farmers to continue growing sustainable and nutritious fruits, vegetables and nuts year-round.”

According to the release, 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’ Annual Meeting in Maui Hawaii on Nov. 12.

The judges will decide at the event whether and how much to invest, according to the release. The entrepreneurs must then accept the offer, negotiate or decline. In addition to investment capital, the release said 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, one night hotel accommodations at the host hotel and $500.00 for airfare.

The AgSharks Competition launched in 2017, and the release said three startup companies have earned seed money to elevate their businesses to the next level.

Augean Robotics, a company building fully autonomous and vision-based farming robots, was victorious in last year’s AgSharks Competition, according to the release. 

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Western Growers for a third consecutive year, as we search for the next great entrepreneurs delivering innovative and practical solutions to farmers,” Sanjeev Krishnan, managing director of S2G Ventures, said inn the release. “The Western Growers partnership offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn directly about the challenges facing growers and receive expert advice from the WG member network. We hope to replicate the magic again this year and are excited to invest behind innovative solutions that support a more sustainable and more healthy food system.” 

 
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