3 companies honored as THRIVE III Winners, Announced at the Forbes AgTech Summit

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Forbes AgTech Summit Honors Tortuga AgTech, Microgen Biotech, and Agrosmart as Agriculture Technology Companies Furthering Innovation, Sustainability and Operational Excellence

Media Contact: Emily.Breslin@SVGPartners.com


Salinas, Calif., June 29, 2017— Startup companies AgrosmartMicrogen Biotech, and Tortuga AgTech were announced last night as the winners of THRIVE’s Operational Excellence, Sustainability, and Innovation awards during the third annual Forbes AgTech Summit. Brazil-based decision support company Agrosmart received THRIVE’s award for Operational Excellence, Ireland-based microbiome platform technology received THRIVE’s award for Sustainability, and Colorado-based automation company Tortuga AgTech received THRIVE’s award for Innovation.


SVG Partners Founder and CEO John Hartnett presented the awards to each of the three companies on the Forbes main stage as the first day of the summit came to a close. “Not only do these three companies have technology that will disrupt the agriculture industry, but they also have founders and teams that we are confident will make it happen,” he said.


The award ceremony was the culmination of THRIVE’s 10-week accelerator, which began in April and ended yesterday morning with a demo presentation featuring the ten companies from this year’s cohort. Demo day, the hallmark event of the THRIVE accelerator program, provides startups the opportunity to showcase their solutions to a broad audience of investors, corporate partners, and local and national media. Each startup pitch was scored by THRIVE’s corporate partners Taylor Farms, Land O’Lakes, Western Growers Association, Driscoll’s Berries, Wells Fargo, JV Smith, Sun World Innovations, City of Salinas, and Produce Marketing Association.




Each of the three winning companies this year demonstrate the myriad ways that technology applications will disrupt the industry’s standard practices to make agriculture more efficient and sustainable in the future. 


Founder: Mariana Vasconcelos

Irrigation consumes almost 70 percent of Brazil’s fresh water and almost half is wasted because farmers lack knowledge of when to apply it and in what quantity. In order to improve productivity and optimize the use of resources in agriculture, Agrosmart connects farmers to a proprietary management system that monitors irrigation and other farming decisions with sensors, satellite imaging and weather forecast. Agrosmart’s renting model includes hardware, maintenance and software for an annual fee of ~$20K with a ~3.5x ROI for the farmer in the first season. For more information about Agrosmart, please see here.

Microgren Biotech

Founder: Xuemei Germaine

A large amount of agricultural land that is stressed and polluted is still utilized for food production, especially in developing countries, which impacts food safety and crop production. Microgen Biotech applies constructed functional microbiome technology to increase crop yield and health while protecting food safety by remediating pollutants and improving soil fertility. Microgen has developed a fast and efficient technology which allows identification of functional microbes in 4 months; a process which can typically take up to years. While onstage at Forbes, Founder and CEO Xuemei Germaine said, “we have demonstrated that globally, our technology can bring down toxic pollutant levels found in food by up to 50 percent.”For more information about Microgen Biotech, please see here.

Tortuga AgTech

Founder: Eric Adamson

Tortuga’s fully automated greenhouse production system improves freshness, shortens the supply chain, enables better genetics, and reduces chemical and water use. The company integrates labor-reducing robotics and automation, advanced sensing technologies, computational imaging, and a soilless substrate system to grow specialty crops in geographically distributed locations, dramatically reducing shipping times and distances, minimizing wastage, and eliminating methyl bromide and other chemicals from the grow process. Tortuga’s systems translate to a reduction in grower costs by 20% and an increase in growing density by 25%.For more information about Tortuga AgTech,please see here.



Founded in 2014 by SVG Partners, THRIVE is a vibrant AgTech venture and innovation platform connecting cutting-edge agtech and foodtech startups with technology and agriculture executives and investment and field trial opportunities. As a response to growing concern over food security, labor shortages, environmental stewardship, and the availability of energy, water, and land resources, THRIVE’s Open Innovation program, Seed Accelerator program, and venture and advisory services were created to help innovative technology companies disrupt, scale and lead in the global AgTech market.



SVG Partners is an investment, technology and advisory firm that partners with organizations on strategy, innovation and global expansion.  Since 2007, SVG’s experience team of senior technology leaders and venture capital investors have worked with global corporations and scaling companies to drive competitive advantage from strategy to implementation.  Through its executive strategy and advisory, SVG Partners helps build and scale innovative technology companies worldwide.  SVG Partners is based in Silicon Valley, CA.


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