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Silicon Valley, CA. US., June 29th, 2021, SVG Ventures | THRIVE, a leading global Agrifood Venture and Innovation Platform headquartered in Silicon Valley, announced a partnership today with BayWa AG, headquartered in Munich, Germany. The partnership centres around the ‘THRIVE Europe Challenge,’ a program to seek out the most innovative and sustainable Agri-Food Tech start-ups across Europe and Israel who are solving some of the critical challenges facing the global agri-food industry.
Speaking on the partnership, John Hartnett, Founder & CEO of SVG Ventures | THRIVE said “We are delighted to partner with one of Europe’s largest agri-food companies who are dedicated to realizing a sustainable future and so open to collaboration with startups to help achieve this. As we expand our footprint in Europe, partners like BayWa AG are crucial to driving the adoption of sustainable solutions in line with the goals of European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy.”
The inaugural THRIVE Europe Challenge is a program for early-stage European and Israeli AgTech and FoodTech start-ups and is part of THRIVE’s Global Initiative. This initiative launched with the USDA in 2020 aims to recognize and promote early-stage startup innovators that positively impact different regions of the world. The European Challenge program is the fourth in the series and follows regional challenges held in Australia, Canada and Africa. THRIVE also plans to hold a LATAM Challenge in December 2021.
Founded in 1923, with the mission to provide rural regions with everything they require for agriculture, BayWa AG has grown to an international solution provider for food, shelter, warmth and mobility, serving basic human needs for nearly 100 years. The cooperative spirit and regional connectedness are still immensely important for the company as we enter a new era of digital agriculture. Partnering with leading startups across Europe will help their customers and the group stay abreast of profound challenges in cultivation, changes in consumption and calls for greater sustainability in the value chain.
The winner will receive the THRIVE Europe Challenge Award and advance to the finals of the award winning Global THRIVE Accelerator program with the opportunity to be selected for the THRIVE VIII cohort in Silicon Valley, investment and opportunity to pitch at the world renowned Forbes|THRIVE Demo Day at the Forbes|THRIVE Future of Food Summit. Startups will also have the opportunity to engage with senior management of BayWa AG through their participation in the judging process.
The European Challenge is closely aligned to the goals of the European Green Deal, specifically the Farm to Fork strategy which aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system. The EU has earmarked €10 Billion alone to aid this transition under the Green Deal.
“It is very important that people understand that you are involved in sustainability and the challenges of the climate situation. The first step is to understand what the challenge is. The second step is to have the courage to develop maybe unusual answers and then implement those answers into concrete action,” says Prof. Klaus Josef Lutz, CEO of BayWa AG. Understanding sustainability and following it up with concrete action has multiple faces at BayWa AG. Strategically and operationally, there are many initiatives that pay off on the topic of sustainability, which is why the United Nations and Bloomberg have selected BayWa as one of “50 Sustainability and Climate Leaders” worldwide for its activities in sustainability and climate protection.
“BayWa AG is not only looking for innovations and new technologies to meet the challenges of climate change within the Group and its current business, but is also consciously looking outwards. What products and services are available to solve the problems of agriculture today and in the future? How can we promote technologies that conserve resources and enable an efficient flow of goods? We know that we cannot answer these questions alone and are therefore proud to announce our participation at the THRIVE European Challenge. We are looking forward to meeting outstanding founders and exciting technologies with the goal to build sustainable businesses. True to our guiding principle BayWa AG – united for success”, says Marion Meyer, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at BayWa AG.
SVG Ventures | THRIVE are seeking new investments across Europe and Israel having invested in 7 European and 2 Israeli start-ups to date. Their relationships with leading corporates is a big draw for start-ups when applying to the program as is their relationship with Forbes Media with whom they partner for their annual cohort Demo Day. The THRIVE innovation platform has a proven record of fostering collaboration between start-ups and corporates such as the recently announced $140m investment and partnership between Driscoll Berries and vertical farming AgTech unicorn, Plenty.
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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, CED, Gallo, Bayer, Kubota, Land O’Lakes, ICL, UFA, CSIRO, Trimble, Taylor Farms, Valmont, Yamaha Motor Ventures, Wilbur-Ellis & Victoria Government.
Crunchbase recognizes SVG Ventures as the most active AgTech investor in the world with a portfolio count of 40 investments in the space.
About BayWa AG
BayWa is a globally active group with the core segments of Energy, Agriculture and Building Materials, as well as the development segment Innovation & Digitalisation. As a global player, it develops leading projects and solutions for the basic human needs of food, energy and building. The headquarters of the parent company, which was founded in 1923, are in Munich. Today, BayWa group has more than 22.000 employees in almost 50 countries worldwide. The company originated in the area of agricultural cooperative trading, with the mission to provide rural regions with everything they require for agriculture. The cooperative spirit and regional connectedness are still immensely important for the company. Traditionally, the core markets are in southern Germany and Austria, but BayWa’s international expansion has increased significantly in recent years, as part of its growth strategy. However, BayWa has since grown to become the largest agricultural trader in Germany and is one of the leading agricultural commodities trading companies in the world.