( Courtesy PMA )

SVG Ventures, Los Gatos, Calif., is partnering with the Produce Marketing Association, through a three-year agreement that brings tech panel discussions to Fresh Summit and a technology challenge giving companies the chance to pitch to investors.

The pitch sessions at PMA’s annual convention and expo, debut this year with the Thrive Fresh Summit Challenge, according to a news release.

The challenge is designed to help start-ups designing technology for the produce and floral industries, and there will be a $100,000 investment as a top prize. There will also be an opportunity to present at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Salinas, California, according to the release, for another $100,000 investment opportunity.

“Both SVG Ventures and PMA have been working closely with experts from Driscoll’s, Taylor Farms and Sun World Innovations to deeply understand the specific industry challenges,” John Hartnett, CEO of SVG Ventures, said in the relase. “This pitch competition serves as an opportunity to fast-track entrepreneurs who drive us toward a more efficient, sustainable and secure agricultural future.”

The challenge seeks agtech/agrifood innovations focused on sustainability, food waste reduction, food safety and digital solutions, according to the release. Applications, which are due by Sept. 10, can be submitted online.

“The innovations that are made possible by this partnership will be critical next steps to addressing the big questions of how we will feed our growing world,” Vonnie Estes, vice president of technology at PMA. “Our industry will be central to implementing these solutions and I’m thrilled that with this partnership with SVG Ventures, we are key to finding and developing those solutions as well.”