Applications are being accepted for a competition that could offer a minimum $250,000 investment for agricultural entrepreneurs.

Western Growers and S2G Ventures are fielding interest for the 2022 AgSharks Competition to find three companies that will ultimately pitch themselves to a panel of growers, shippers, processors and venture capitalists. The competition will take place in front of a crowd of more than 300 fresh produce farmers and industry officials during WG’s annual meeting Nov. 2-5 in Las Vegas.

“AgSharks leads as the only pitch competition that offers agtech startups an audience with the biggest agricultural companies across the globe,” S2G Ventures Principal Audre Kapacinskas 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.”

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Dave Puglia, WG’s president and CEO, said he looks forward to seeing competitors “engaging in a live, spirited back-and-forth with our members on how best to use technology to solve the most pressing needs of our industry.”

The competition was first launched in 2017 and has invested in companies that have since brought their ideas to market. In addition to funding, successful entrepreneurs will receive mentoring from the organizations and “potential access to farm acreage to pilot their technologies and access to WG’s expansive network of leading fresh produce companies,” according to a release.

Applications can be submitted online and close Sept. 12.

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