SVG Ventures Partners with Extreme Tech Challenge for THRIVE Global Initiative

THRIVE Regional Challenge winners to receive automatic acceptance as XTC Finalists

Los Gatos, CA, November 17, 2020 –SVG Ventures | THRIVE, a leading global Agrifood Venture and Innovation Platform headquartered in Silicon Valley announced today that they have partnered with Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) on their THRIVE Global Initiative – a series of Regional Challenges for startups solving the world’s toughest problems.

“XTC looks forward to working with SVG Ventures on regional competitions across three continents to help discover, elevate, and empower local startups that are innovating to address the world’s biggest challenges. We are proud to partner with THRIVE to accomplish this” said Young Sohn, Co-Founder of XTC, President and Chief Strategy Officer, Samsung Electronics and Chairman of the Board, HARMAN.

THRIVE’s Global Initiative intends to catalyze and accelerate the transformations needed in the entire food value chain by identifying, promoting, accelerating, and investing in innovative solutions from early-stage and later-stage startups around the globe that can create new and alternative paths for a more efficient and sustainable global food system.

Through a series of international pitch challenges, THRIVE aims to address the key initiatives highlighted by the USDA & the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).  Pitch Challenges will be held in Australia, Canada & Africa.  Additionally three finalists selected to participate in THRIVE’s 7th Global Accelerator Program will also automatically be selected as XTC finalists.

XTC is the world’s largest startup competition for entrepreneurs solving global challenges & this partnership will provide another pathway for THRIVE’s Regional Challenge winners to accelerate & scale their world changing solutions.  Winners of THRIVE’s Regional Challenges will automatically be selected as XTC Finalists and gain the opportunity to connect with XTC’s network of investors, corporations & mentors to help them raise capital, close partnerships & scale their startups.  XTC will also fasttrack all THRIVE applicants through their XTC application process & participate in the THRIVE Silicon Valley Bootcamp for the winning startups.

“Our partnership with XTC signifies our continued commitment to elevating the next-generation of entrepreneurs creating new technologies and game changing innovations for global good” said John Hartnett, CEO & Founder SVG Ventures|THRIVE.  “We’re looking forward to working with XTC to harness the power of technology to advance the future of food & agriculture to benefit humankind”

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 Extreme Tech Challenge

Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) is a USA nonprofit devoted to elevating the next generation of entrepreneurs creating new technologies and innovations that benefit humankind. Inspired by the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) competition is the world’s largest startup competition for entrepreneurs addressing global challenges. XTC® connects innovators with a network of investors, corporations, and mentors to help them raise capital, launch corporate collaborations, and scale their world-changing startups. The Extreme Tech Challenge is sponsored by 40 world-leading corporations including Samsung Electronics, Microsoft, Deutsch Telecom, Ford, Intel, Cisco, NXP, TechCrunch, Vivatech, and ARM. Learn more at https://extremetechchallenge.org

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.

SVG Ventures|THRIVE and FCC Partner to Accelerate Canadian AgriFood Innovations

SVG Ventures announces inaugural THRIVE Canada Challenge

Silicon Valley, CA, September 22nd, 2020 – SVG Ventures|THRIVE, a leading global Agrifood Venture and Innovation Platform based in Silicon Valley, today announced the signing of a three-year strategic partnership with Farm Credit Canada (FCC).  The partnership acknowledges FCC as a Founding Partner of “THRIVE Canada” & signifies SVG’s continued commitment to advancing the future of the global food and agriculture industries.

“We are delighted to partner with Farm Credit Canada to expand our THRIVE Innovation & Investment Platform. This partnership exemplifies our focus on global entrepreneurs and continued commitment to solving the critical challenges facing the global Agrifood sector,” said John Hartnett, Chief Executive Officer and founder, SVG Ventures. 

The development of this partnership will catalyze the Canadian Agrifood ecosystem,  accelerate Canada’s AgTech and FoodTech innovations and solve some of the critical challenges facing the agriculture industry and food supply chain. THRIVE Canada is part of SVG Ventures long-term strategic plan to create a bridge with Silicon Valley investors, startups, and corporate partners to bolster innovation and development in Canada’s AgTech sector.  Crunchbase recently recognized SVG Ventures|THRIVE as the most active Agtech investor in the world with over 40 investments to date in the sector. SVG’s existing global Partners include media partner Forbes and leading agriculture and technology corporations such as Corteva, Driscoll berries, Kubota, Land O”Lakes, Trimble, Taylor Farms, Valmont, Yamaha Motor Ventures & Wilbur Ellis who’s focus is on finding solutions and potential investment opportunities.

SVG Ventures has Invested in 5 Canadian startups through its partnership with the Canadian Global Affairs Technology Accelerator and recently announced a partnership with Olds College & University of Guelph. Three Canadian start ups Milk Moovement, Spornado and StreamML   are part of the current THRIVE VI 2020 program and they will pitch live at the THRIVE/Forbes demo day on Sept 24th.

To launch this strategic partnership, SVG Ventures announced that they will host the inaugural THRIVE Canada Challenge, a pitch event for AgTech & FoodTech startups.  The winning Canadian startups will advance to the finals of the award winning THRIVE Accelerator Program in Silicon Valley & have a chance to compete for a coveted spot in the THRIVE VII Accelerator Cohort which kicks off in March 2021.

“This exciting partnership gives us another important avenue for investment into Canada’s agriculture tech sector.” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Our government continues to advance the cutting-edge innovations within the agriculture and food systems, because it helps to create jobs and strengthen food security for all Canadians.”

 “SVG Ventures is a global leader in supporting ag tech companies and our partnership in THRIVE Canada will provide Canadian companies with additional access to mentorship, business knowledge and industry connections, as well as a global network necessary for developing new and growing companies,” said Michael Hoffort, FCC president and CEO. “This will undoubtedly be an exciting addition to the Canadian innovation landscape for agriculture and food.”

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

About Farm Credit Canada

FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture and food lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $38 billion. Their employees are dedicated to the future of Canadian agriculture and food. They provide flexible, competitively priced financing, management software, information and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and food industries. As a self-sustaining Crown corporation, they provide an appropriate return to their shareholder, and reinvest their profits back into the industries and communities they serve. For more information, visit fcc.ca.

 

CRUNCHBASE RECOGNIZES SVG AS MOST ACTIVE AGTECH INVESTOR

Crunchbase data, from investments made in the agriculture and farming group categories, shows that SVG Ventures is the most active agtech venture investor, having made 40 venture investments in the agtech space since it was founded 10 years ago. It was most recently involved in India-based Intello Labs’ $5.9 million Series A round. The company uses image matching and machine learning to measure the quality of crops.

Source: Christine Hall, Crunchbase