WG 2.0
The WGCIT Agtech Blog

Agtech innovators. WGCIT stories.

  • wells fargo

Four New Startups Selected for Esteemed Wells Fargo Scholarship

Posted on November 07, 2018 15:07 PM by elyons

In a joint effort to accelerate the development of agricultural technologies, Wells Fargo awarded Western Growers a $30,000 grant for the third year in a row. The grant was presented at a reception at the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology during the 2018 Forbes AgTech Summit in June. The Wells Fargo scholarship will fund agtech startups’ residency at the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology in Salinas, for one full year.

The Western Growers Board of Directors selected the following four startups to receive the first round of scholarship grants:

  • The Bee Corp: The Bee Corp was founded out of the concern for the declining bee population, and what that means for our global food supply. The Bee Corp builds “technology to connect the people who work together to grow our food: beekeepers and growers.” 
  • Verdical: Verdical is eliminating the need for delivery and logistics of produce, letting freshness and flavor rule. Verdical CEO Andrew Deitz states that Verdical “will capture a 71% margin in our first target segment -- the $2B herb industry.  …As the only direct-to-consumption produce provider, Verdical’s business model is differentiated by our ability to avoid loss at every stage of the supply chain. Our customers’ immediate and efficient access to living food allows them to do three things at once: save money on food costs, increase food quality, and bring new signature flavors to market.” 
  • Intelligent Wireless Network: Intelligent Wireless Network (IWN) was founded as a WiFi wireless carrier for the global rural communities. IWN president, Gina Davis, said that “our mission is to go where traditional carriers and service providers won’t go, giving the agriculture industry a platform to practice precision farming...increasing yields and saving money.” 
  • Tensorfield Agriculture: Tensorfield Ag is building the next generation of agricultural machines with a focus on applications for specialty row crops in a post-herbicide world. According to the Tensorfield Ag website, “The Tensorfield team has over 40 years of combined best-in-class industry experience working on robotics, integrated circuit design and computer vision with deep learning. Our deep ties with the Shenzhen China manufacturing ecosystem gives us unparalleled speed of execution to deliver working machines - built fast. We are seeking partners in the organic specialty crop growing space to define their critical requirements and participate in Tensorfield pilot schemes specifically tailored to their needs - from automated no-contact crop thinning to in-row weeding and more.” 


Congratulations to the teams at these four startups! We look forward to working with you at the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology, at your new Salinas office. To apply for the scholarship or to learn more about the Center, contact Emily Lyons