THRIVE Companies Showcase at Forbes AgTech Summit Indianapolis

THRIVE accelerator companies were at the forefront of the Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis last week.

Four agtech startups attended the innovation showcase included Arable, Aker Technologies, Farm Dog and 3Bar Biologics. THRIVE News caught up with the companies and learned of their recent milestones.

AKER

Aker, a member of THRIVE IV’s cohort, has much to celebrate said CEO and co-founder Orlando Saez. In September the company announced new crop and aerial imagery trials with Bayer’s crop science division, which is a leader in seed, crop protection and non-ag pest control. The trials are tracking results from Delaro, Bayer’s new corn and soybean fungicide.

In a news release, said Ray Lello, fungicides product manager at Bayer, spoke of how critical trials are to the product.

“Trials in 2017 found that Delaro provided a substantial yield increase over the untreated check in corn and soybeans. However, we also consistently heard from trial participants that they observed improved plant health from Delaro,” said Lello. “That’s why we are thrilled to collaborate with Aker to track qualitative metrics like plant health in addition to the known quantitative yield results of Delaro over the untreated check in corn and soybeans. Understanding how these benefits help contribute to an overall return on investment is beneficial for growers as they look to get the most out of their corn hybrids and soybean varieties.”

Saez credits his mentor Walt Duflock, managing partner of SVG Partners, for working closely with the company and getting them to the next level.

Arable
Arable, a member of THRIVE’s IV cohort, has been celebrating a productive year.

To start with the company, which produces a weather and plant measurement device, welcomed new CEO Jeff Keiser in July.

Arable also expanded headquarters from Princeton, NJ to Oakland, Calif., and hired another seven employees including engineers.

“We had a fantastic 2018 year – we really scaled up our sales team and solidified customer support. We developed some really amazing partnerships, we brought in new CEO in early July, and now about to hire new engineers,” said Jess Bollinger, vice president of strategic partnerships.

In 2018, Bollinger said, the focus has been on refining the device including improving yield forecast and developing into disease analytics and increasing alerts and notifications on crops

Since Arable’s product launched in June 2017, some 1,000 devices have been deployed in 22 countries globally examining some 26 different crops. It works with 150 customers including Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Ferro, Driscoll’s and The Nature Conservancy. To date, Arable has raised $13.2 million including from grants.

Bollinger credits THRIVE with connecting the company with some of its biggest clients especially with farmers and vintners in the Salinas Valley where agriculture is a $9 billion industry.

“THRIVE has helped build a really important network for us in the Salinas Valley where we have many key customers in that area who have been willing to provide strong feedback that has shaped much of our product development,” said Bollinger.

At Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis, Arable was also one of nine companies chosen as part of Demo Day. During Demo Day and the Summit said they received stellar feedback for the product and ultimately more “brand visibility.”

Farm Dog 

Farm Dog’s CEO and founder Liron Brish said he has had a whirlwind summer.

Farm Dog, a member of the THRIVE IV accelerator that provides pest and disease management scouting platform, is focused on a new round of fundraising (to date the company has raised $2 million).

Brish, born in Israel and based in Tel Aviv, is also amid a transcontinental move and Los Angeles bound to be closer to the agriculture industry. A former consultant in farm harvest with McKinsey & Co., Brish said the company was awarded a number of important initiatives since joining THRIVE.

There’s the partnership with John Deere one of the largest farm equipment manufacturers in the world where Farm Dog’s software connects with Deere equipment to provide data analytics. There’s the $900,000 grant from the BIRD Foundation (The Israel-United States Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation) in Israel that is fueling the company’s research and development. Farm Dog is also working with the USDA, University of Georgia and University of Florida, on building a regional pest disease management program. Brish said Farm Dog is providing the algorithm for the program.

Farm Dog, now in a million and a half acres and has conducted more than 25,000 field visits, also seeks to build out the AI part of the platform next.

Brish said THRIVE helped the company gain even more credibility in the agtech space.

“THRIVE did good job creating a network among startups,” said Brish noting the “connections that THRIVE made to the industry” when it comes to startups. “It’s hard enough being a startup, it’s even harder being an agtech startup,” he said, noting the sector is still fairly new when it comes to investment and acceptance from growers.

3Bar Biologics

Bruce Caldwell the CEO and founder of 3Bar Biologics cited a number of the company’s laurels since it joined the THRIVE Accelerator Program in 2017.

A spin-out from Ohio State University, the company provides natural microorganisms to boost healthier crops with higher yields. 3Bar has been in hiring mode tripling the size of its team to seven staffers including on the sales and marketing front. The company also received a greenlight for its first patent and has completed a seed round of $2 million. Over the summer 3Bar conducted a trial with Land O’Lakes, the connection made through the THRIVE program.

Caldwell said the connections with corporations has been golden for 3Bar.

“There are now a lot of companies in the THRIVE network that connect with other CEOs of young startups, and some of the larger relationships have been very impactful,” he said.

The sky is the limit for the company, he said. 3Bar plans to double sales and staffing annually and expand its reach when it comes to crops and geographies.

SVG & THRIVE Announce $1m investment in Third Cohort

THRIVE AGTECH HOSTS ITS THIRD SEED CAMP THIS WEEK BRINGING 10 COMPANIES FROM 5 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES TO ACCELERATE THE NEXT CLASS OF CUTTING EDGE AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGIES

Media contact: Emily Breslin, Emily.Breslin@SVGPartners.Com

April 11, 2017, Salinas, CA– Entering its third consecutive year, the THRIVE AgTech accelerator announced today that it will invest a total of $1m across the ten companies participating in its third cohort.  Each of the ten companies will receive a $50k cash investment plus an additional $50k in program value.  With corporate partners Taylor Farms, Land O’Lakes, Western Growers Association, Verizon, Driscoll’s Berries, Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory, Panasonic, Wells Fargo, the City of Salinas, PMA, and Sun World Innovations, THRIVE AgTech has quickly evolved to become the world’s fastest growing agtech-focused accelerator and investment platform.

During the course of THRIVE’s intensive 8-week program, companies will be provided both classroom and online training in business planning, strategy, marketing, supply chain, finance, fundraising and communication skills.  Through THRIVE, the 10 seed stage companies will have access to expert guidance through a paired mentorship program, co-working space at the Western Grower’s Innovation Center in Salinas, CA, field trials with THRIVE’s corporate partners, global press and media during the Forbes AgTech Summit Demo Day, and seed capital. THRIVE mentors and corporate partners will interface with each of the ten company teams to propel agriculture towards a more sustainable, efficient, and productive future through direct collaboration, field trials, and eventually, partnership.

“Last year’s winners Trace Genomics received a $200k investment but this is the first year we have invested across the entire cohort class” SVG Partners CEO & THRIVE founder John Hartnett said, “we are excited to scale these startup companies to the next level through our THRIVE AgTech platform, partners and mentors”

Held for the third consecutive year in downtown Salinas at the Taylor Farms headquarters, Seed Camp brings together THRIVE corporate partners, mentors, and new cohort companies for a day of presentations and discussions centered on the future of agriculture. In the days following, the ten startup teams will take field tours to Hahn Winery, Taylor Farms, Driscoll’s Berries, and the Flex 9 Lab in the Silicon Valley.

 

Introducing the THRIVE III cohort- 2017

Arable

Headquartered: Princeton, New Jersey

Arable enables agricultural enterprises with real-time continuous visibility and predictive analytics of crop growth, harvest timing, yield, and quality based on in-field measurement.

 

Agrosmart

Headquartered: Campinas, Brazil

Targeting the LatAm market, Agrosmart monitors environmental conditions in real time to empower growers to make better decisions and achieve more productive and sustainable agriculture.

 

AgShift

Headquartered: Santa Clara, CA

Blending machine learning with computer vision with the mission to design a fully transparent and digitized food system.

 

Deeplook

Headquartered: San Francisco, CA

Deeplook builds robots that work autonomously in fields, can distinguish between various types of plants and growth stages, and can mechanically act on targeted plants through proprietary algorithms.

 

EZ-Lab

Headquartered: Podavo, Italy

EZ-Lab is a digital hub to manage, certificate and share agri-information, which integrates every type of data coming from a company’s information system, with the purpose of eliminating the operation of data insertion by farms and the whole agribusiness production chain.

 

FarmDog

Headquartered: Tel Aviv, Israel

Farm Dog changes the way growers choose, use, and purchase pest and disease treatments. Treatment efficacy reviews, regional alerts, and variable rate treatment application provide growers with a new toolkit to manage their fields.

 

MicroGen Biotech

Headquartered: Carlow, Ireland

Microgen Biotech utilizes patented isolation and high-throughput screening methods to isolate functional, high-performance microbiomes for application in agricultural crop production and environmental remediation.

 

Tortuga Agricultural Technologies

Headquartered: Los Gatos, CA

Tortuga AgTech builds digital horticulture facilities, which take the most advanced greenhouse growing methods and wrap them around powerful technology like robotics, automation, precision data analytics and machine learning.

 

UAV-IQ

Headquartered: Los Angeles, CA

UAV-IQ is a full service data management company that leverages cutting-edge remote sensing and drone technologies for agriculture clients.

 

3Bar Biologics

Headquartered: Columbus, Ohio

3Bar Biologics is dedicated to applying disruptive technologies to create ecologically sound products that sustainably increase yields and protect farmer’s investments in land and seed

 

ABOUT SVG PARTNERS

SVG Partners is an investment, technology and advisory firm that partners with organizations on strategy, innovation and global expansion. Since 2007, SVG’s experienced  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 accelerator and open Innovation programs, engineering and development services, and executive strategy and advisory, SVG Partners helps build and scale innovative technology companies worldwide. SVG Partners is based in Silicon Valley, CA.  www.svgpartners.com

ABOUT THRIVE AGTECH

THRIVE AgTech’s mission is to connect the expertise of tech companies to on-the-ground knowledge of agricultural companies, the financial backing of investors, and the entrepreneurs solving problems in the AgTech space. THRIVE unites these communities in order to drive the development and adoption of sustainable technology enhancements necessary for securing the global food demands of the future. The THRIVE program targets two stages of companies, the very early to commercially ready. Early stage companies accepted into the program go through a rigorous bootcamp and receive mentorship from industry leaders to help them scale their companies. THRIVE’s Open Innovation program directly connects corporate partners with high growth startups to trial and deploy cutting edge technologies focused on agriculture.

 

  

For more information:
Emily Breslin, Community Relations, THRIVE AgTech
Emily.Breslin@SVGPartners.Com
650-666-7521