Western Growers is teaming up with S2G, a multi-stage venture fund investing in the agriculture market, to host the AgSharks Competition that will see startup companies going head-to-head to win a $250,000 minimum investment.

On November 9, five startups will be chosen to pitch their inventions to a panel of growers, shippers, processors and venture capitalists at the Western Growers Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. The competition will be accepting applications from entrepreneurs until Oct. 11.

“AgSharks leads as the only pitch competition that offers agtech startups an audience with the biggest agricultural companies across the globe,” Audre Kapacinskas, vice president at S2G Ventures, said in a release. “The combination of exclusive access to hundreds of industry leaders plus investment capital to fuel growth are two elements that are crucial for a startup’s success in this industry.”

The competition was first held in 2017 and previous winners include Hazel Technologies, which producers packaging inserts that release shelf-life enhancing vapor for produce, and Burro, which creates autonomous farming robots. 

“Our AgSharks Competition is an exciting and impactful event that has already yielded bottom-line benefits for our members,” said Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia. “While there is much more we are doing to speed innovative technologies to our industry, AgSharks creates a special opportunity for agtech entrepreneurs to win the hearts and minds of growers on a very high profile stage. We’re looking forward to this year’s competition.”

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