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SVG Ventures and PMA Announce Partnership to Advance Produce and Floral Innovation

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PRESS RELEASE LOS GATOS, CA, August 14, 2019— SVG Ventures and Produce Marketing Association BB #:153708 have entered a three-year strategic partnership to connect PMA growers with cutting-edge technology.

SVG Ventures will lead panel conversations on AgriFood and AgTech at PMA’s annual Fresh Summit Convention & Expo and, debuting this year, the organizations will launch the THRIVE Fresh Summit Challenge live-pitch competition. Start-ups working to create technology for the produce and floral industry will compete for an opportunity to pitch on stage at Fresh Summit to receive a $100K investment award and other prizes.

The THRIVE Fresh Summit Challenge winner will receive an opportunity to join the award-winning THRIVE VI Accelerator Program with an investment value of $100K ($50k cash, $50k program), and a further opportunity to present at the Forbes AgTech Summit Salinas for a chance to win an additional $100k investment. The THRIVE Fresh Summit Challenge winner will be featured as part of the PMA Center at the Expo to gain visibility and access to other large food and agriculture corporate partners and investors.

The 2019 THRIVE Fresh Summit Challenge will be open to start-ups from around the world developing AgTech and AgriFood innovation focused on sustainability, digital solutions, food waste reduction, or food safety solutions within the produce and floral industries. Applications are now being accepted with a submission deadline of September 10th. To apply, please visit the THRIVE website.

SVG THRIVE will select four exceptional startups from among the applicants to participate in a live-pitch challenge on stage at PMA’s 2019 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo to be held in Anaheim, Calif., scheduled Oct. 17-19 this year. A panel of judges will evaluate the finalists on their ability to present a clear business strategy and communicate their respective AgTech innovations.

The 2019 judging panel includes Robert Herjavec, entrepreneur and leading shark on ABC’s Shark Tank, who is also a conference speaker; John Hartnett, CEO SVG Ventures-THRIVE; Jennifer Maloney food stakeholder manager at Bayer; and Ted Taylor, head of new ventures and business development at Taylor Farms. The winner will be selected and announced on site at Fresh Summit.

“Both SVG Ventures and PMA have been working closely with experts from Driscoll’s, Taylor Farms and Sun World Innovations to deeply understand the specific industry challenges,” says John Hartnett, CEO of SVG Ventures. “This pitch competition serves as an opportunity to fast-track entrepreneurs who drive us toward a more efficient, sustainable and secure agricultural future.”

“The innovations that are made possible by this partnership will be critical next steps to addressing the big questions of how we will feed our growing world,” adds Vonnie Estes, Vice President of Technology at PMA. “Our industry will be central to implementing these solutions and I’m thrilled that with this partnership with SVG Ventures, we are key to finding and developing those solutions as well.”

THRIVE Fresh Summit Challenge Application Open
Call for global start-ups developing solutions within the produce and floral industries for the following food and agricultural technology areas: sustainability, digital solutions, food safety, and food waste. The THRIVE Fresh Summit Challenge is an opportunity to accelerate your business, network with industry professionals, and align business strategy to current challenges.

Call for start-ups
Fresh Summit brings global produce and floral industry leaders from around the world together to network, create global connections, cultivate industry talent, find practical solutions to complex science and technology issues, and bring cutting-edge trends to the forefront. The event showcases seed companies, growers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers, and business solution providers including equipment, packaging, technology, transportation, and food safety companies in agribusiness. This diverse marketplace of more than 1,200 exhibitors, over 3,200 buyers and 22,000 attendees from 60-plus countries means endless opportunities for advancing and sharing innovation in this dynamic and diverse industry.

PMA Fresh Summit “Forums for the Future” conference speakers for Thursday, Oct. 17 are Cathy Burns, PMA CEO, who will deliver her annual state of the industry address, and Herjavec, who will present on “Solving Industry Issues One Pitch at a Time.” PMA plans to announce the third and final “Big Voice” Forum for the Future speaker for the Oct. 18 session soon. In addition, Queen Latifah, musician, actress, author, and entrepreneur, is scheduled to speak at the Center for Growing Talent Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 19. For additional information or to register for Fresh Summit, visit

About SVG Ventures-THRIVE Innovation Platform
SVG Ventures-THRIVE is the leading AgriFood innovation ecosystem, comprised of top agriculture, food & technology corporations, universities and investors. With a community of over 2,000 startups from 82 countries, the THRIVE platform invests, accelerates and creates unparalleled access for entrepreneurs to scale globally to solve the biggest challenges facing the food and agriculture industries. AgFunder recognizes SVG Ventures-THRIVE as the “Most Valuable AgriFood Platform in the World.”

THRIVE was launched in 2014 by Silicon Valley Global Ventures (SVG Ventures), a venture, innovation, and investment firm based in Silicon Valley, CA. For more information, please visit THRIVE.

About Produce Marketing Association
Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit

Media Contacts
Marta Weinstock, Marketing Director, SVG Ventures
Siobhan K. May, Director, Communications, PMA