We are excited to announce that applications are now open for the fifth annual AgSharks Pitch Competition, which provides agtech startups with exclusive access to produce leaders and funding to advance innovative solutions for the sector. 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.
The event gives companies developing technologies that promote a more healthy and sustainable food and agriculture system the opportunity to pitch their innovations in front of a panel of growers, shippers, processors and venture capitalists as well as a live audience of more than 300 fresh produce farmers and industry leaders during the WG Annual Meeting in Las Vegas on November 2-5, 2022. Three finalists will be selected to pitch their innovations for the chance to receive a $250,000 minimum investment as well as international recognition, mentoring from S2G Ventures and WG, potential access to farm acreage to pilot their technologies and access to WG’s expansive network of leading fresh produce companies.
“With a proven track record of rewarding cutting-edge agtech innovators and enabling them to grow their businesses, we look forward to this year’s competitors engaging in a live, spirited back-and-forth with our members on how best to use technology to solve the most pressing needs of our industry,” said Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia. “With its real-world financial stakes for the startups and the potential long-term benefits for our members, the AgSharks Competition is one of the highlights of our Annual Meeting.”
AgSharks' past winners include Hazel Technologies and Burro, which have since brought their products from development to market. Hazel Technologies has raised over $87.8 million in funding over six rounds and is advancing the industry with sachets that extend the shelf life of fresh produce by as much as three times. Burro raised a $10.9 million Series A round in September 2021 led by S2G Ventures and Toyota Ventures and continues to help solve farmers’ labor woes with the expansion of its fleet of autonomous robots to farms across the west.
According to Audre Kapacinskas, Principal at S2G Ventures, “AgSharks leads as the only pitch competition that offers agtech startups an audience with the biggest agricultural companies across the globe. 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.”