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Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology Supports Startup Weekend Ventura County

Posted on February 15, 2017 15:22 PM by WGCIT

Members of Western Growers Association are encouraged to participate in Startup Weekend Ventura County and join in the development of innovative solutions for California’s agriculture industry

IRVINE, Calif. (February 15, 2017): The Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology® (WGCIT) announced today its endorsement of Startup Weekend Ventura County (SWVC) and its support of SWVC’s mission to bring innovative technology solutions for agriculture to Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. SWVC, organized by Camarillo Chamber of Commerce and Dignity Health St. Johns Hospitals, will be held on April 21-23, 2017, at Rancho Campana High School in Camarillo, Calif. This is the second year of a 54-hour event which calls on entrepreneurs, programmers, system architects, application engineers, agriculturalists and medical professionals to address agriculture and healthcare industry needs with innovative technology solutions. For more information or to register, go to: http://startupweekendventuracounty.com

“The fresh fruit and vegetable industry is labor intensive and requires significant use of water and other resources,” said Dennis Donohue, lead of the WGCIT. “If we are going to continue providing safe and healthy food to a growing population, we must collaborate more closely with innovators and entrepreneurs who can help us revolutionize how we farm.”

WGCIT believes that in an era of diminishing natural and human resources and growing regulatory and marketplace demands, the future of agriculture depends on technology. The Center serves as a hub for the accelerated development and rapid deployment of innovative solutions to help farmers feed more people with fewer inputs.

“This year, we have approached our agriculture sponsors, Limoneira, Bonipak and Reiter Affiliated Companies, and asked them to come up with operational inefficiencies and challenges,” Martin Shum, an organizer of the event. “We believe by publishing this list, we have taken the guess work out of market needs and thereby focusing entrepreneurs’ energy in developing innovative solutions for real problems. In addition, we have invited engineering and business students from local universities, including CSU Channel Islands, Cal Lutheran, UC Santa Barbara, CSU Northridge, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and Pepperdine University, to bring their ideas and skills to SWVC and to join start-up teams in taking ideas to proof of concepts.” Martin is a representative of Dignity Health St. Johns Hospitals on the Board of Camarillo Chamber of Commerce.

About Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology
The Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology is a technology incubator aimed at bringing innovative entrepreneurs together with farmers to facilitate creative solutions to the biggest challenges facing agriculture.  Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California and Colorado. Western Grower members and their workers provide half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America’s fresh organic produce. 

About Startup Weekend Ventura County
Startup Weekend Ventura County (SWVC) is a not-for-profit and community-driven event staffed entirely by volunteers. It is a joint effort between the public sector (Ventura County Government, City of Camarillo, Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner, Ventura County Healthcare Agency and Ventura County Medical Center), the private sector (Bonipak, Limoneira, Reiter Affiliated Companies, Dignity Health St. Johns Hospitals, Semtech Corporation, Meissner Filtration Products, Z Power, Applied Wireless, Zebra technologies, Advanced Motion Control and Camarillo Chamber of Commerce) and local universities (UC Santa Barbara, CSU Northridge, CSU Channel Islands, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Cal Lutheran University and Pepperdine University).