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Silicon Valley works to strengthen U.S.-China agritech cooperation

Pleased to announce THRIVE’s strategic move into China, where the team will play an advisory role in the development of the Nanjing Modern Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Pilot Park. For THRIVE, the strategic engagement provides a opportunity to bring agtech startups into China to test, validate and scale in the massive hashtag agriculture market in the country.

SAN FRANCISCO, — Agriculture experts in Silicon Valley are working with their Chinese counterparts to further collaboration in agritech innovation between the United States and China.

The United States and China can collaborate with each other to tackle their common challenges in food and agriculture, such as farm labor shortages, scarce resources, and food security and safety, John Hartnett, an agritech expert in Silicon Valley, said Saturday.

Hartnett sees agritech innovation as the only solution to those challenges.

He visited Chinese cities of Beijing and Nanjing last month, where he met with government officials and leaders in agriculture.

“The meetings were very positive. They were very engaged and very focused on driving leadership in agtech,” said Hartnett, founder and CEO of SVG Partners, an investment, technology and advisory firm. “I was impressed with their work and initiative, and how quickly they are moving with this initiative.”

The initiative he referred to is the Nanjing Modern Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Pilot Park, the first national-level agricultural innovation zone in China.

Launched in July last year, the park consists of a scientific innovation center, an incubation center and a trading center. It is expected to be built into China’s “agricultural Silicon Valley” by 2025.

“This is a big move, a big investment,” said Hartnett. He has been appointed to the expert committee of the park. For the next three years, he will help with working out strategies and building a bridge between Silicon Valley and Nanjing, capital city of China’s Jiangsu Province.

Hartnett said his Chinese partners are interested in Silicon Valley’s ecosystem and the expertise to accelerate the startups that are engaged in improving agriculture and food chain.

MicroGen Biotech, a startup that joined his “Thrive” accelerator program in 2017, is an example for the type of company that is going to be successful in China, said Hartnett.

The company, which applies constructed functional microbiome technology to increase crop yield and health while protecting food safety, has a specific target market in China. It has established partnerships with several Chinese state-owned companies.

Hartnett noted that he sees “two-way opportunity” between the two sides. “We are interested in having access to China, where we can bring our startups solving some of the greatest challenges in agriculture,” he said.

Read more here & here.

California venture, innovation firm to expand to Midwest, partner with Indiana-based entities, advance livestock and plant sciences health

SVG Partners expands THRIVE AgTech into livestock and agbiosciences in Midwest with newest partners National Pork Board, AgriNovus Indiana, Elanco Animal Health, Purdue Foundry and with long-term partner Land O’Lakes

SAN FRANCISCO and INDIANAPOLIS – SVG Partners, a California-based venture and innovation firm, announced Thursday (Nov. 29) the expansion of its West Coast-based THRIVE AgTech program to the Midwest to focus specifically on animal health and support agriculture advancements.

The expanded accelerator follows on the heels of Forbes AgTech Summit held in Indianapolis this fall. The collaboration will build a bridge between THRIVE Silicon Valley and the Midwest with new corporate partners, including the National Pork Board and AgriNovus Indiana, Elanco Animal Health, long-term THRIVE partner Land O’Lakes and with startup services from Purdue Foundry and collaboration opportunities with Purdue University.

Deason ThrivePurdue’s animal husbandry program performs distinct and complementary roles to ensure animal well-being in research, testing and teaching. THRIVE will work with the National Pork Board and other partners to enhance animal husbandry around the Midwest even further. (Purdue University, College of Agriculture photo)

With this expansion, THRIVE aims to develop a targeted pipeline of livestock management and animal health startups, validating and scaling new technologies for the livestock vertical and expand its support of emerging plant science and biotechnology startups

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Pork Checkoff Embraces Startup Innovation for First Time with New MidWest THRIVE Accelerator Program

The National Pork Board (NPB or the Pork Checkoff) is partnering with Californian venture firm SVG Partners on its new MidWest THRIVE accelerator program. The Pork Checkoff is partnering alongside animal health group Elanco, Indiana’s agbiosciences promoter AgriNovus, and entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator Purdue Foundry. THRIVE’s existing partner on its Californian program Land O’Lakes is also part of the new program, which aims to focus on animal health startups and foster innovation in the MidWest.

Some of these partners will be investing in SVG Partners’ third fund.

This will be the first time NPB has dedicated resources to focus on new innovation, including the creation of a new job role internally, according to John Hartnett, partner at SVG Partners. NPB represents some 60,000 pork producers in the US.

“NPB made a strategic decision to embrace innovation and technology to improve their industry,” he told AgFunderNews. “For many years, NPB has been funding research in the area of animal health, and their relationship with THRIVE will open this library of research for potential commercialization.”

“Additionally, they recognize that new technology has the opportunity to solve challenges in their industry. Land O’Lakes and new partners like NPB and Elanco have driven our interest in this expansion into the animal health and livestock area,” Hartnett added.

Read more in AgFunder news.