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Peter Wren-Hilton

Calling all NZ agritech companies looking to raise connected capital. Introducing AgSharks 2019.

In August last year, Agritech New Zealand signed a partnership agreement with Western Growers, the largest producers of fresh produce in North America. At the end of June this year, 20+ kiwi agritech researchers and entrepreneurs spent a week in Salinas talking to Western Growers members and partners about potential collaboration opportunities. The photograph above shows the delegation visiting a harvesting crew on a romaine farm in Salinas Valley.

Last week, it was announced that Western Growers has partnered with S2G Ventures (Seed 2 Growth) to host the 2019 AgSharks® Competition, a challenge where start-up companies compete for $250,000 in investment capital to support the development and growth of their businesses (NOTE: an investment is not guaranteed). The challenge calls for entrepreneurs and startups who are developing innovative solutions in food, agritech and agriculture.

Five finalists will be selected to pitch their ideas to a panel of AgSharks, consisting of venture capitalists and fresh produce farmers, during the Western Growers Annual Meeting 2019 in Maui on November 12, 2019. The judges will decide on the spot whether and how much to invest. The entrepreneurs must then accept the offer, negotiate or decline. In addition to investment capital, successful entrants will receive international recognition, mentoring from S2G and Western Growers and potential access to farm acreage to pilot their technologies. All participating companies will receive a complimentary conference registration for one person and one night hotel accommodation at the host hotel. Plus USD 500 towards airfare costs.

Agritech New Zealand is keen to support New Zealand agritech companies interested in registering for the competition. You can find the application form here. Alternatively, you can email me at and I can provide more information about the opportunity.

It’s time to make things happen.

Peter Wren-Hilton Peter is Executive Director of Agritech New Zealand and founder of Wharf42 in Tauranga. Peter helps organise major agritech conferences in New Zealand and offshore and connects early stage New Zealand agritech companies with international markets.