The SVG Ventures-THRIVE AgTech platform has announced the nine startup finalists that comprise its 5th annual seed accelerator cohort.

Following 6 months of rigorous research and analysis, these nine companies were selected from a global applicant pool of 275 companies across 67 countries. SVG Ventures-THRIVE will invest $100k in each company bringing their total investment portfolio to 39 companies and making them one of the most active AgTech investors in the sector. Additionally SVG recently held a THRIVE-X Challenge at SXSW and invested $100k in the winning company, Agshift, and has also made a follow-up investment in Microgen, one of its THRIVE III cohort companies.

The cohort’s technology categories range from big data & analytics (The Bee Corp, FarmX, Intelliconn, Wellntel, Livestock Water Recycling), to robotics (Tensorfield Technologies), next-gen farms (Alesca Life Technologies), and biotechnology (Olombria, ProteoSense), and address key agriculture and food challenges such as food safety/security, labor shortages and resource constraint/environmental concerns.

The nine startups will participate in the SVG Ventures-THRIVE Accelerator Program, a four-month program which kicked off in February and culminates at the Forbes-THRIVE Demo Day during the Forbes AgTech Summit on June 26 in Salinas, California. Over the course of the intensive accelerator program, companies will be provided live and virtual coaching covering topics such as go-to-market strategy, supply chain, field deployment, fundraising and global expansion. The accelerator program emphasizes critical industry relationships and market traction by providing top tier agriculture, business and technology mentorship and connecting startups with THRIVE’s corporate innovation partners.

“Each year, we are truly impressed with the calibre of our startup teams and the quality of their technology solutions and this year is no exception,” said John Hartnett, founder and CEO of SVG Ventures-THRIVE. “We look forward to helping our THRIVE V startups succeed and scale their solutions for real impact in the food and agriculture industries over the course of the next few months.”

The THRIVE V Cohort- 2019

Creates next-gen urban farming solutions (i.e. in shipping containers) using advanced software technology

Leadership: Tsuyoshi Stuart Oda, CEO

Location: China

Alesca Life is an agricultural technology company that builds weatherproof, cloud-connected farms to enable local food production by anyone anywhere. The startup was founded in August 2013, and over the past 5 years has developed hardware, IoT and IT products to modernize the agricultural industry and dramatically improve productivity, consistency, and efficiency.

Predictive data analytics and infrared technology for beehives to monitor hive-health

Location: Bloomington, IN

Leadership: Ellie Symes, CEO

The Bee Corp’s product, Verifli applies data analytics to beehives to help growers ensure effective pollination through infrared inspection technology. The Bee Corp increases yield for farmers by monitoring the number, health and distribution of pollinating bees. Since launching the product February 2019, The Bee Corp has inspected over 6,700 beehives.

Precise irrigation optimization from a comprehensive sensor package.

Leadership: Tushar Dave, CEO

Location: Berkeley, CA

FarmX uniquely provides farmers with a complete monitoring and analysis solution that improves productivity immediately. FarmX scales quickly and appeals to all types of farmers with its analytics-service model. FarmX differentiates in its full-spectrum analytics offering which combine PCA, irrigation management, crop advisory services and adverse conditions monitoring into one simple solution.

Leading edge solutions for grain quality and quantity data acquisition, management, connectivity & remote monitoring.

Leadership: Ken Jackson, CEO

Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Intelliconn manufactures and sells leading-edge solutions for grain quality and quantity data acquisition and management as well as farm connectivity and remote monitoring and control solutions.

Creating value for food producers by reducing the expense and impact of waste liquids.

Leadership: Karen Schuett, CEO

Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada

The LWR System is the only proven commercialized technology that reduces the overall volume of manure, concentrates nutrients into valuable solid fertilizer, a crop additive liquid fertilizer, and delivers a renewable, high-quality water source.

Insect pollination solution that curates fly behaviour to increase pollination and ensure greater crop yields

Leadership: Tashia Tucker, CEO

Location: London, UK

Olombria uses specific species of flies to supplement bees as primary pollinators. Flies already do about 30% of the world’s pollination, but the Olombria technology substantially increases their effectiveness. They use advanced, natural chemical signalling and mapping technologies to choreograph their behaviour, placing them just where the crops need them to be.

Solid-state biosensor technology for food safety testing

Leadership: Mark Brynes, CEO

Location: Columbus, OH

ProteoSense LLC is commercializing RapidScan™, a solid-state biosensor technology for food safety testing. ProteoSense’s high-sensitivity field-portable system detects foodborne pathogens without incubation, reducing total test time from days to minutes – a 10x improvement over existing tests. Partnering with Taylor Farms, a leading producer of fresh-cut vegetables, ProteoSense is developing tests for Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli, and Listeria – the primary foodborne pathogens – that can be administered on-site by non-technical personnel.

Collaborative robots that perform non-invasive, no-herbicide weeding using thermal micro-dosing techniques

Leadership: Xiong Chang, CEO

Location: San Jose / Salinas Valley

Tensorfield Agriculture is building the next generation of agricultural machines, initially to address three primary concerns of growers worldwide: the cost and availability of labour, the threat of herbicide resistance and the anticipated legislative burdens around using existing herbicides. The science is clear: the only way to mitigate the threat of herbicide resistance is to reduce or end our reliance on them, with the only viable alternative being the development and commercialization of new strategies for weed control. They leverage our deep manufacturing ties in Shenzhen, China to iterate fast and produce robots that can scale to multiple geographies and crop types: robots that they believe are the future of maintaining our ongoing supply of safe, sustainable fresh food.

Groundwater monitoring technology and information systems

Leadership: Marian Singer, CEO

Location: Morro Bay, CA and Milwaukee, WI

Wellntel is a groundwater-level monitoring technology and information system company. They sell sensor equipment, field services and cloud-based data services to turn irrigation wells into real-time groundwater supply monitoring points. With Wellntel, farmers and growers get the groundwater supply and seasonal trend data they need to inform operational plans, measure progress and sustainably manage their resource.

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