Irish start-up MagGrow is one of just 12 companies from around the world selected to participate on the 2016 Thrive Accelerator Programme which has commenced in Salinas, California.

Thrive Accelerator, an initiative driven by SVG Partners, is a unique international business programme for promising start-ups in the areas of Food and AgTech.

Companies participating on the programme have the opportunity to pitch to leading agriculture VCs for funding that can range from seed funding up to $5 million.

MagGrow, headquartered at NovaUCD has developed a pioneering magnetic spraying technology system for the arable and horticulture sectors.

MagGrow’s technology reduces drift by over 80% while at the same time delivering superior coverage, a key challenge for existing drift control technology. Benefits of the technology include increased profitability through chemical savings; increased productivity through increased spray windows and spray capacity; supports environmental regulations and is better for the environment.

Through the 8-week Thrive Accelerator Programme participating companies will benefit from high-level mentorship, collaboration and direct access to the world’s top fresh agriculture companies in and around Salinas and the central California growing region.

More than 200 start-ups from 35 countries applied to take part in the 2016 programme. Over 30 of these companies were then chosen to pitch to a diverse group of senior judges drawn from agriculture; technology sectors; financial and investment groups; and universities, who selected the final 12 companies.

Gary Wickham, CEO, MagGrow said, “We are truly delighted to be selected to the final 12 companies on the 2016 Thrive Accelerator Programme. It is a great testimony to the transformational benefits which MagGrow has to offer the arable and horticulture sectors.”

He added, “We have a big problem, the world’s population is estimated to grow to 9 billion by 2050. The demand for food and water will increase dramatically but by using current farming methods we simply will not be able to meet this demand. We have to find better, more sustainable ways to grow and that is why we developed MagGrow.”

Earlier this year MagGrow won the 2016 LAMMA Innovation Award for the Best Product or Innovation for the Environment category. LAMMA is the UK’s leading farm machinery, equipment and services show which takes place annually in the East of England Showground, Peterborough.

The 2016 Thrive Accelerator Programme will end with participants delivering a final pitch at a Demo Day event to be held in June. The winning companies will then participate in the 2016 Forbes AgTech Summit to be held in July.

Nuritas Research, the Irish bioinformatics start-up, participated on the 2015 Thrive Accelerator Programme and was the winner of the 2015 Thrive Accelerator Award. Nuritas, founded by Dr Nora Khaldi, had previously completed the 3-month UCD 2013 VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme held at NovaUCD.

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