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Aussie startups through to global accelerator

SVG Ventures | THRIVE has announced the next iteration of its agrifood-focused technology accelerator and the 12 startups selected to join the THRIVE VII cohort. Again, the THRIVE Australia Challenge has provided a gateway for Australian innovators to participate in the global accelerator with Rubens Technologies, Goanna Ag, and TranspiratiONal making the cut.

The THRIVE Accelerator Program supports early-stage startups from all areas of the value chain whose technologies drive towards a more efficient, sustainable, and secure agriculture future. The selected companies benefit from a three-month program that provides investment, direct access to the largest agriculture companies and farmers in North America, and mentorship from top industry leaders. The program will culminate at the world-renowned Forbes | THRIVE Demo Day at the Forbes | THRIVE Future of Food Summit on June 30, 2021.

“The opportunity to present our solution on a global stage was the major reason we decided to apply for a THRIVE challenge in the first place. We are thrilled to be one of the very few startups who made it to the THRIVE VII cohort,” said Daniel Pelliccia from Rubens Technologies, who is developing a ‘provenance intelligence system’ for the fresh food supply chain.

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“Being part of the program is an exceptional validation of the work we have been doing so far, and a unique opportunity to expand into the American ecosystem in the agtech and foodtech space. The program is also being extremely helpful to us for the opportunity to interact with an international cohort of exceptional startups and founders.”

With an acceptance rate of less than 2%, the award-winning THRIVE Accelerator Program is fiercely competitive. This year saw a record-breaking number of almost 700 applicants from across 78 countries and winners from THRIVE’s Regional Challenges held in Australia, Canada, and Africa also advanced to the finals. The competitive selection process, conducted in collaboration with THRIVE’s corporate partners, focused on startups’ potential for commercial success.

RELATED: ‘The accidental entrepreneur’ and unlocking innovation in the Asia Pacific 

To date, THRIVE has graduated a total of 73 startups through its award-winning program and these startups have created more than $1 billion in value. The program has been acknowledged as the #1 AgTech Accelerator by AgFunder and SVG Ventures has been recognized by Crunchbase as the Most Active AgTech Investor.

“THRIVE continues to attract the best global startups to our award-winning accelerator program and this year’s cohort is no exception. In addition to investment, the unmatched access to our extensive network and ecosystem is instrumental in elevating and empowering companies that are innovating to address the world’s biggest challenges. This cohort stands to make a huge impact on the food system of the future and our team at THRIVE are excited to help fuel that growth and support their success,” said Evan Cohen, THRIVE’s Accelerator Manager.

Rubens Technologies was established in 2018 by Daniel Pelliccia and has worked locally with the Australian and Victorian Government, the City of Geelong, RunwayHQ and Hort Innovation. Joined by Leesa Soulodre in 2020, as Chief Growth Officer, they are now working on the second stage of product development to scale up globally.

RELATED: Fourth-generation SA farmers value-add with protein-packed lentil flour

“About 30 percent of world food production is wasted at some stage along the supply chain. Our technology enables direct monitoring of high-value crops and foods at every stage along the supply chain. From deciding when to harvest to predicting shelf life of perishable food, Rubens Technologies provides non-destructive quality assessment to reduce waste and maintain quality in the fresh food supply chains,” Daniel explained.

And what is Daniel hoping to get out of the THRIVE Accelerator experience?

“We would love to pilot our technology with some of THRIVE’s corporate partners such as Driscoll’s or Sun World that are leaders in high quality fruit production.”

With the 12 startups that have made it through to the latest THRIVE cohort representing some of the most innovative agritech solutions globally, the Forbes | THRIVE Future of Food Summit on June 30, 2021, should not be missed.

The THRIVE VII Cohort is comprised of the following startups:

  1. Arva Intelligence provides an advanced AI & ML approach to data analytics in agriculture. Arva’s proprietary technology clusters soils into regimes to match genetics, fertility, and biologicals by the environment.
  2. Autonomous Pivot develops an intelligent platform for optimizing irrigation, fertigation, and crop-protection in fields irrigated by irrigation-pivot.
  3. Bloomfield Robotics crop assessment services relies on a unique and cost-effective combination of ground-based image capture and deep learning-based processing to help farmers efficiently, effectively, and affordably assess crops.
  4. Foodlocker is the operating system that optimizes the outcomes and yields of smallholder farmers by supporting and monitoring production activities and opening up big markets using their omnichannel distribution system.
  5. Goanna Ag addresses an environment suffering impacts of long-term drought and lack of water access. Using low-cost sensors and connectivity, this company works with growers to optimize water management across the farm and significantly improve on-farm efficiencies.
  6. Healthy Cow Corporation products are developed to prevent critical diseases in the dairy sector. Derived from extensive systems biology research, ProPreg™ is an intravaginally applied probiotic that maintains a healthy reproductive microbiome before and after calving.
  7. Lucent BioSciences has developed a patented process technology that upcycles low-value fiber from food processing residue like pea hulls or rice husk as a carrier for the micronutrients, creating a circular economy from crop to fertilizer.
  8. Pheronym, Inc. uses pheromones for eco-friendly pest control solutions. The company’s bio-control process improves plant health and crop yield using a new pheromone to control parasitic roundworms, control insect pests in the soil, and protect crop roots.
  9. Rubens Technologies provides a unique combo of sensors and analytics with the quality and provenance intelligence system for the fresh food supply chain.
  10. Serket provides livestock farmers with an easy-to-use technology solution to monitor animal health. By detecting changes in animal behavior in real time, this company enables farmers to use less antibiotics, reduce feeding costs, and improve animal mortality rate and welfare.
  11. Syocin Biotech is leveraging their Synthetic Biology Platform to revolutionize the way in which plant bacterial diseases are treated and cured to improve world food availability.
  12. TranspiratiONal is developing a sprayable, biodegradable polymer membrane to increase water savings in crop production while removing the environmental and financial burden of plastic mulch films.

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