We are excited to announce that applications are now open for the 2021 AgSharks Pitch Competition. The competition is held in collaboration with Western Growers, an organization representing local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico.
This year’s competition will enable selected start-ups to pitch their innovations to a panel of growers, shippers, processors and venture capitalists in front of 300+ fresh produce farmers and industry leaders during the Western Growers Annual Meeting in San Diego California on November 9th, 2021. In addition to a $250,000 minimum investment, the winner will receive international recognition, mentoring from S2G and Western Growers, potential access to farm acreage to pilot their technologies and access to Western Grower’s expansive network of leading fresh produce companies.
“Our AgSharks event is an exciting and impactful event that has already yielded bottom-line benefits for our members,” said Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia. “While there is much more we are doing to speed innovative technologies to our industry, AgSharks creates a special opportunity for AgTech entrepreneurs to win the hearts and minds of growers on a very high profile stage. We’re looking forward to this year’s competition.”
For four years, AgSharks has led as the only pitch competition that offers AgTech startups an audience with the biggest agricultural companies across the globe. The first AgSharks Competition was held in 2017 and since then three early stage companies have earned seed money to grow their business. The combination of exclusive access to hundreds of industry leaders plus investment capital to fuel growth are two elements that are crucial for a startup’s success in this industry. In fact, past winners Hazel Technologies and Burro, formerly known as Augean Robotics, have since brought their products from development to market. Hazel Technologies recently closed a Series C financing round and is now advancing its food waste solutions with sachets that extend the shelf life of fresh produce by as much as three times. Burro is helping solve farm labor shortages and improve working conditions with the expansion of its fleet of autonomous robots to farms across the west.
Impact-driven entrepreneurs and startups developing systems and technologies that promote a healthier and more sustainable food system can apply for the competition until Tuesday, October 11, 2021. We can’t wait to learn about your groundbreaking and impactful ideas!