First annual THRIVE Fresh Summit Challenge live-pitch competition
featuring entrepreneur Robert Herjavec of ABC’s Shark Tank as 2019 celebrity panel judge
Anaheim, CA., October 17, 2019— Today, SVG Ventures and Produce Marketing Association (PMA) announced ProteoSense, an Ohio-based startup, as the winner of the THRIVE Fresh Summit Challenge and recipient of a coveted spot in the THRIVE VI Accelerator Program focused on accelerating companies with the best-emerging technologies to advance the future of food and agriculture.
SVG Ventures selected four finalist companies, Intello Labs, ProteoSense, SolGro, and Space AG, from a pool of global startups developing AgTech and AgriFood innovation focused on sustainability, digital solutions, food waste reduction, and food safety solutions. The finalists presented their technology solutions on stage during a live pitch competition in front of the judging panel which included Robert Herjavec, entrepreneur and leading shark on ABC’s Shark Tank; John Hartnett, CEO SVG Ventures-THRIVE; Jennifer Maloney Food Stakeholder Manager, Bayer; and Ted Taylor, head of New Ventures and Business Development at Taylor Farms.
Remarkable pitches, expansive domain expertise, and scalable market growth created a uniquely difficult winning decision for the THRIVE Fresh Summit Challenge judges. The winner was determined ultimately for their refined technological advancements and growth potential they bring to the agtech industry. ProteoSense offers a breakthrough in food safety for the produce industry and increases efficiencies for on-site testing reducing result time to 90 minutes or less which equates to less waste, fresher foods, and longer shelf life.
SVG Ventures Founder and CEO John Hartnett, Vonnie Estes, PMA Vice President of Technology, and entrepreneur, Robert Herjavec, presented the THRIVE Challenge award. “We are delighted with the evolution of the PMA–SVG Ventures partnership in advancing the future of Food and Agriculture,” Hartnett said. “The first annual Fresh Summit Challenge has proven to be an exceptional event and represents a unique opportunity to highlight innovations specifically for the produce and floral audience of investors, corporate partners, growers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers, and agribusiness solution providers. John Hartnett acknowledged, “ProteoSense’s RapidScanÔ pathogen detection platform is a gamechanger and provides significant advancement that will play a key role in advancing the future of food safety.
The 2019 THRIVE Fresh Summit Challenge is the first of a three-year partnership announced by SVG Ventures and PMA earlier this year, explained PMA vice president of technology, Vonnie Estes. “One of the primary goals of the program is to be able to be responsive to the needs of the produce and floral industries. This year we explored solutions for areas including sustainability and food safety, and we will commit to being on the leading edge for the produce and floral industries. We are thrilled to announce ProteoSense as our winner and extend our congratulations to our other finalists who all made this decision a difficult one for our judges.”
THRIVE VI Applications Open
Applications are currently open for THRIVE’s sixth accelerator program. The THRIVE VI Accelerator program will take place over four months from February to June and culminate at the Forbes AgTech Summit June 2020. The application deadline is October 31st, 2019. To apply, please visit the THRIVE website.
About Produce Marketing Association
Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.
About SVG Ventures-THRIVE Innovation Platform
SVG Ventures-THRIVE is the leading AgriFood innovation ecosystem, comprised of top agriculture, food & technology corporations, universities and investors. With a community of over 2,200 startups from 82 countries, the THRIVE platform invests, accelerates and creates unparalleled access for entrepreneurs to scale globally to solve the biggest challenges facing the food and agriculture industries. AgFunder recognizes SVG Ventures-THRIVE as the “Most Valuable AgriFood Platform in the World.”
THRIVE was launched in 2014 by Silicon Valley Global Ventures (SVG Ventures), a venture, innovation, and investment firm based in Silicon Valley, CA. For more information, please visit www.thriveagrifood.com.
Marta Weinstock, Marketing Director, SVG Ventures email@example.com
Siobhan K. May, Director, Communications, PMA SMay@pma.com
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