SVG Partners joins forces with Forbes to launch ag-tech accelerator

9 Jul 2014

SVG Partners, the Silicon Valley-based venture-capital firm that emerged from the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG), has launched the Thrive Accelerator with Forbes to support innovators in the ag-tech (agriculture technology) sector.

The accelerator was launched during the Forbes/SVG AgTech summit in California.

The Thrive Accelerator will be based in Salinas, California.

The accelerator’s first class of 10 start-ups will gain direct access to the top companies in the region, as well as support, mentorship and access to investment.

SVG Partners‘ CEO is John Hartnett, who is also the president of the ITLG. The venture firm went live in March with its second venture fund.

The company’s first fund has a portfolio of 15 companies, including 3D-printing pioneers Mcor Technologies, mobile payments company Flint Mobile, and restaurant loyalty platform Posiq.

In October, the ITLG revealed plans create a €25m Global Irish Investment Pledge Fund that will support scaling-up Irish tech companies with capital, expertise and access to global customers.

Ag tech’s socio-economic imperative

By the year 2050, the world’s population is projected to increase to 9bn people while the middle class will increase from 1.5bn to 4.5bn people.

To meet future food demands, global production will have to increase by 70pc. Applying technology will be the key.

Through the Thrive Accelerator, select companies will gain access to the best expertise and resources of top agriculture and tech companies to help deploy their innovative new technologies.

“We are seeking the best, most innovative companies that are transforming agriculture through technology,” said John Stanton, general partner of SVG Ventures.

Farming image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years