SVG Ventures | THRIVE and Canadian Government partner to accelerate AgTech innovation and investment

SVG Ventures | THRIVE announces official partnership with the Canadian Government for inaugural THRIVE Canada Challenge.

SILICON VALLEY, CA. U.S. (Oct. 27, 2020) – SVG Ventures | THRIVE, a leading global Agrifood Venture and Innovation Platform headquartered in Silicon Valley, has officially partnered with the Government of Canada to bridge Canadian Agrifood tech startups with Silicon Valley investors, entrepreneurs, and corporate partners through the THRIVE Canada Challenge.

“Our partnership with the Canadian government exemplifies our focus on global entrepreneurs and continued commitment to solving the critical challenges facing the Agrifood sector,” said John Hartnett, CEO & Founder, SVG Ventures | THRIVE. “We look forward to identifying, promoting, accelerating, and investing in key early-stage startups solving some of the toughest problems facing the Canadian Agrifood industry.”

Taking place on January 14, 2021, the inaugural THRIVE Canada Challenge is a pitch program for early-stage Canadian agtech and foodtech startups and is part of THRIVE’s Global Initiative which aims to recognize and promote early-stage startup innovators that positively impact different regions of the world. THRIVE will also hold Regional Challenges in Africa and Australia and plans to expand to include Europe, Asia, and Latin America Challenges in the latter half of 2021. The Canadian government will leverage their Canadian Technology Accelerator agtech program to connect some of Canada’s most promising agtech startups with THRIVE, and the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) will work with the THRIVE Challenge finalist to help them find export and funding opportunities abroad.

The winning Canadian startup will advance to the Global final of the award-winning THRIVE Accelerator Program, and participate in THRIVE’s Silicon Valley Startup Bootcamp in Spring 2021.

SVG Ventures has invested in five Canadian startups through its partnership with the Canadian Technology Accelerator and recently announced partnerships with Farm Credit Canada, Olds College, and the University of Guelph. Three Canadian startups Milk Moovement, Spornado, and Stream.ML were part of THRIVE’s latest accelerator cohort that pitched at the THRIVE | Forbes Demo Day this past September.

“Agrifood is one of the many revolutions underway as part of the fourth industrial revolution,” said Rana Sarkar, Consul General of Canada in San Francisco/ Silicon Valley. “I’m proud of our strong partnership with SVG Ventures and look forward to what’s next for Canada and the United States.”

 

About SVG Ventures | THRIVE

SVG Ventures | THRIVE is the leading global Agrifood investment and innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley, and comprised of top agriculture, food & technology corporations, universities, and investors. With a community of over 5,000 startups from 100 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. SVG’s existing global partners include Media Partner Forbes and leading government, agriculture, and technology corporations such as Corteva, Driscoll’s, FCC, Kubota, Land O’Lakes, Trimble, Taylor Farms, Valmont, Yamaha Motor Ventures and Wilbur-Ellis.

Crunchbase recognizes SVG Ventures as the most active AgTech investor in the world with a portfolio count of 40 investments in the space.

 

About the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

As part of Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) helps Canadian companies and organizations succeed globally. With trade offices across Canada and in 161 offices around the world, including the Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, the TCS can provide Canadian businesses with on-the-ground intelligence, qualified contacts, partnership opportunities, and practical advice on foreign markets to help them make better, more timely and cost-effective decisions in order to achieve their goals abroad.

 

 

Press‌ ‌Contact:‌ ‌

Jessica Pham, jessica.pham@svgventures.com

 

Driscoll’s and Plenty‌ Agree ‌to‌ Grow Strawberries Indoors

Collaboration‌ will Focus on Optimizing Flavor, Texture, Size and Availability of Strawberries

WATSONVILLE, Calif. ‌and‌ ‌SOUTH‌ ‌SAN‌ ‌FRANCISCO,‌ ‌Calif.,‌ ‌October 12,‌ ‌2020‌  ‌–‌ Driscoll’s, the leading consumer brand in fresh berries, ‌and‌ ‌indoor vertical-farming‌ ‌company‌ ‌Plenty‌ ‌Unlimited‌ ‌Inc.‌, ‌today‌ ‌announced‌ a joint development agreement to grow Driscoll’s proprietary flavorful strawberries year-round in Plenty’s vertical indoor farms. Driscoll’s 100 years of farming heritage and focus on delivering Only the Finest Berries™ is the ideal complement to Plenty’s industry-leading, sustainable, indoor farming technology and commitment to growing the best tasting produce. Together, the two companies will work to bring flavorful strawberry varieties to market, leveraging the benefits of a controlled growing environment while also creating opportunity for berry expansion into regions that have historically been difficult to serve.

“It’s clear that Plenty’s vision and capabilities of pioneering the potential of indoor farming technology makes them the leader in this space,” said J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll’s Chairman and CEO. “As one of the few berry companies with a dedicated global R&D program, we believe our proprietary berries, which are focused on flavor, combined with Plenty’s technology leadership will create a competitive market edge as we expand to more effectively meet the future consumer.”

Plenty will incorporate Driscoll’s proprietary genetics and berry expertise into its advanced, indoor farming technology using its plant science expertise. Through this controlled environment, Plenty can consistently deliver great flavors from Driscoll’s varieties, while also optimizing for texture and size. The indoor environment will remove the unpredictability of Mother Nature, allowing both companies to meet the future needs of consumers worldwide, including geographical locations that are not hospitable to growing strawberries.

Plenty’s‌ ‌innovative‌ ‌and‌ ‌sustainable‌ farm‌ delivers‌ ‌produce‌ ‌year-round‌ ‌that‌ ‌tastes‌ ‌like‌ ‌it‌ ‌was‌ picked‌ ‌fresh‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌garden.‌ ‌Using ‌data‌ ‌analytics,‌ ‌machine‌ ‌learning‌ ‌and‌ ‌customized‌ ‌lighting, Plenty is able to iterate at unprecedented speed, leveraging the more than 200 years worth of growing data the platform generates annually. This advanced agri-food platform has allowed Plenty to show over 700% yield improvement in leafy greens in the last 24 months, while maintaining its unique flavor and quality. Plenty’s South San Francisco leafy greens farm uses ‌100%‌ ‌renewable‌ energy, ‌powered‌ ‌by‌ ‌a‌ ‌combination‌ ‌of‌ ‌wind‌ ‌and‌ ‌solar‌ ‌energy.

“For over 100 years, Driscoll’s has been innovating in search of the best-tasting berries,” said Nate Storey, co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Plenty. “As they embrace the emergence of indoor farming, we are proud they have chosen Plenty as their collaborator to develop flavorful berries grown indoors in a clean, controlled environment. We are aligned in our mission to bring the most delicious food to our consumers while reducing our environmental impact. Our goal is to bring fresh, flavor-forward berries grown locally to consumers around the world.”

‌Driscoll’s strawberries will initially be grown and developed in Plenty’s Laramie, Wyoming farm, the largest privately-owned vertical farm research and development center in the world.

The two companies were introduced through John Hartnett of SVG Ventures, which focuses on agriculture and technology. He helped facilitate the discussions as both companies sought ways to grow the most flavorful strawberries.

“The future of food and agriculture through innovation is accelerated when leaders like Driscoll’s and Plenty come together to transform the growing process in ways that benefit consumers,” said John Hartnett, Founder & CEO SVG Ventures & THRIVE. “We are delighted that our open innovation partnership with Driscolls played an important role in this opportunity.”

About‌ Driscoll’s

Driscoll’s is the global market leader of fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. With more than 100 years of farming heritage, Driscoll’s is a pioneer of berry flavor innovation and the trusted consumer brand of Only the Finest Berries™.  With more than 900 independent growers around the world, Driscoll’s develops exclusive patented berry varieties using only natural breeding methods that focus on growing great tasting berries.  A dedicated team of agronomists, breeders, sensory analysts, plant pathologists and entomologists help grow baby seedlings that are then grown on local family farms. Driscoll’s now serves consumers year-round across North America, Australia, Europe and China in over twenty-two countries. As a fourth-generation grower and the son of one of Driscoll’s founders, J. Miles Reiter serves as Chairman and CEO.

About‌ ‌Plenty‌ ‌

Plenty‌ ‌is‌ ‌an‌ ‌American‌ ‌farming‌ ‌technology‌ ‌company‌ ‌that‌ ‌frees‌ ‌agriculture‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌constraints‌ ‌of‌ ‌weather,‌ ‌seasons,‌ ‌time,‌ ‌distance,‌ ‌pests,‌ ‌natural‌ ‌disasters,‌ ‌and‌ ‌climate.‌ ‌The‌ ‌company’s‌ ‌plant‌ ‌scientists,‌ ‌engineers‌ ‌and‌ ‌farmers‌ ‌have‌ ‌developed‌ its ‌indoor‌ ‌vertical‌ ‌farming‌ ‌technology‌ ‌to‌ ‌manufacture‌ ‌nutrient-rich‌ ‌plants‌ at scale ‌with‌ ‌extraordinary‌ ‌flavor and industry-leading yields.‌ ‌Plenty‌ ‌farms‌ ‌deliver‌ ‌produce‌ ‌with‌ ‌zero‌ ‌pesticides,‌ ‌and‌ ‌are‌ ‌designed‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌less‌ ‌than‌ ‌one‌ ‌percent‌ ‌the‌ ‌space‌ ‌of‌ ‌conventional‌ ‌agriculture‌ ‌and‌ ‌up‌ ‌to‌ ‌five‌ ‌percent‌ ‌less‌ ‌water.‌ ‌‌Plenty‌ ‌grows‌ ‌leafy‌ ‌greens‌ ‌at‌ ‌its‌ ‌flagship‌ ‌farm‌ ‌and‌ headquarters‌ ‌in‌ ‌South‌ ‌San‌ ‌Francisco, and is currently building the world’s highest-output, vertical, indoor farm in Compton, California.‌ ‌ ‌

Press‌ ‌Contacts:‌ ‌

Driscoll’s:‌ ‌ Fran Dillard, press@driscolls.com

Plenty:‌ ‌‌Jane‌ ‌Gideon,‌ ‌press@plenty.ag

Silicon Valley meets Olds College with provincial agriculture partnership

OLDS, AB – A farming town in Alberta is set to become a hub for technology.

The Government of Alberta announced Tuesday a $200,000 Canadian Agriculture Partnership between Olds College, the provincial government, and Silicon Valley-based SVG Ventures.

Their THRIVE Canada accelerator and startup program focuses on technology-driven solutions to support the agriculture and food sectors.

“Alberta’s farmers, ranchers, and processors are global leaders in innovation making Alberta the best place in the world to invest,” says Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen. “Together, Olds College, SVG Ventures and strategic investors like the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation will deliver on projects that will support Alberta entrepreneurs and strengthen our supply chain.”

SVG Ventures’ THRIVE Canada accelerator and startup program focuses on technology-driven solutions to support the agriculture and food sectors.

They will provide guidance on high-value cluster opportunities, support startups, increase Alberta’s exposure to domestic and international markets, and strengthen supply chains with industry-supported technology.

We are delighted to expand our SVG|THRIVE Innovation and Investment Platform to Alberta and announce our THRIVE Canada Challenge Program in partnership with Farm Credit Canada and Olds College,” says SVG Ventres CEO John Hartnett. “These partnerships exemplify our focus on global entrepreneurs and continued commitment to solving the critical challenges facing the global agri-food sector.”

Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Innovation Doug Schweitzer called the partnership, “Silicon Valley meets Olds College meets rural Alberta meets farming,” adding that he is excited to see what could lie ahead.

Several records are set to be broken this year in the agriculture sector including crop yields, livestock market sales, and products in food processing.

READ MORE: Agriculture leading Alberta’s economic recovery, several records to be broken this year

The partnership is part of the province’s sector-specific strategy for agriculture in Alberta. More announcements are expected to be made in the coming days and weeks.

The overall goal is to bolster economic activity with a private investment attraction target of $1.4-billion.