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Western Growers, S2G Ventures Partner to Launch “Live” AgTech Initiative

Posted on September 05, 2017 09:20 AM by sthara

AgSharks™ event to identify and advance key innovations for agriculture

IRVINE, Calif., (September 5, 2017) -- Western Growers (WG) has partnered with S2G Ventures (Seed 2 Growth) to launch AgSharks, a new initiative to identify key innovations in the fresh produce industry. The AgSharks showcase event, sponsored by S2G will premiere at Western Growers 92nd Annual Meeting in Las Vegas on October 31, 2017. Successful entrants will compete for equity investments totaling up to $250,000 to support the development and growth of their businesses. Selected entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas to a panel of experts, including the AgSharks, who will decide on the spot whether and how much to invest. The entrepreneurs must then accept the offer, negotiate or decline.

“Western Growers has been leading the charge in accelerating the development of innovative solutions to help solve the ag industry’s most critical issues,” said Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers. “Our new partnership with S2G Ventures and the launch of AgSharks will ensure ag industry innovators are bringing solutions to our members faster.”

“Western Growers  continues to be at the forefront of finding ways for farmers to more efficiently and productively get consumers the freshest produce they demand,” said Sanjeev Krishnan, managing director of S2G Ventures. “WG is uniquely positioned to build trust and scale solutions that benefit farmers and consumers. AgSharks builds on their leadership position within the produce sector and we are excited to partner with them in finding the next great set of entrepreneurs delivering innovative solutions to the farm.”

AgSharks is the latest WG effort to support AgTech startups in accelerating introduction of unique products and services to market. In December 2015, WG opened an AgTech incubator—the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology—in Salinas, California to provide startups with the resources and mentoring needed to get their companies and technologies up and running. The Center now houses 45 startups. Additionally, for the past two years, WG has hosted the Innovation Arena where startups compete for exclusive opportunities to connect with growers throughout California, Arizona and Colorado. AgSharks takes that concept to the next level with real-time investment opportunities and decision-making in front of a live audience.

Companies interested in participating in AgSharks at Western Growers Annual Meeting can apply here.

About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Our members and their workers provide over half the nation's fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America's fresh organic produce. Some members also farm throughout the U.S. and in other countries so people have year-round access to nutritious food. For generations, we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers. Connect with and learn more about Western Growers on our Twitter and Facebook.

About S2G Ventures:
S2G Ventures (Seed 2 Growth) is a multi-stage venture fund investing in food and agriculture in the U.S. The fund’s mission is to catalyze innovation to meet consumer demands for healthy and sustainable food. S2G has identified sectors across the food system that are ripe for change, and is building a multi-stage portfolio including seed, venture and growth stage investments. Core areas of interest for S2G are agriculture, ingredients, infrastructure and logistics, IT and hardware, food safety and technology, retail and restaurants, and consumer brands. For more information about S2G, visit www.s2gventures.com.