Oct 25, 2022
Western Growers, S2G Ventures name AgSharks Competition finalists

The three finalists that will compete in the 2022 AgSharks Competition, pitching their innovations in front of a live audience of the world’s largest specialty crop producers, have been chosen.

The winner will receive a minimum investment of $250,000.

The finalists are:

  • En Solucion works in the agtech sector to improve food safety through development of novel methods for cleaning and sanitizing. Current projects include exploring the feasibility of employing nanotechnology to replace traditional post-harvest chlorine wash.
  • Nutjobs transforms nutshell waste into bio-benign plastic alternative products that are bio-based, compostable and derived from secondary agricultural waste. By transforming nutshell waste into bio-benign plastics, Nutjobs creates plastic substitutes that are cost effective and environmentally sustainable.
  • SWAN Systems helps water managers make the most out of every drop of water. The company’s configurable water and nutrient management software helps farmers make data-driven decisions about how much and when to irrigate, enabling them to apply only what is needed for optimal plant growth.
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These startups will pitch their inventions to judges in front of an audience of more than 300 fresh produce farmers and industry leaders during the Western Growers Annual Meeting Nov. 2-5 in Las Vegas.

The event is presented by Western Growers and S2G Ventures.

The competition will be hosted by Stuart Woolf, president and CEO of Woolf Farming & Processing, and judged by Neill Callis, general manager of Turlock Fruit Co.; Audre Kapacinskas, principal at S2G Ventures; Aaron Rudberg, chief operating officer and managing director at S2G Ventures; and Kristen Smith Eschaya, president of JV Smith Cos.

AgSharks was first presented in 2017. Past winners Hazel Technologies and Burro have since brought their products from development to market. Hazel Technologies has raised more than $87.8 million in funding over six rounds and is advancing the industry with sachets that extend the shelf life of fresh produce by as much as three times. Burro raised a $10.9 million Series A round in September 2021 led by S2G Ventures and Toyota Ventures and continues to help solve farmers’ labor woes with the expansion of its fleet of autonomous robots to farms across the west.

PHOTO: Burro CEO Charlie Andersen showcases the newest version of its people scale autonomous platform at the FIRA-USA ag robotics show Oct. 18-20, in Fresno, California. PHOTO: Matt McCallum

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