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Startups specializing in agriculture automation can now apply for a $250,000 minimum investment.

Western Growers and Radicle Growth have partnered to create The Radicle Automation Challenge, a competition where AgTech automation entrepreneurs are eligible to compete for a minimum of $250,000 in investment capital and exclusive access to farm acreage to pilot their technologies.

Four finalists will be chosen to showcase their technologies in front of a group of investors, corporate partners and agribusiness experts on June 26, 2018.

Economic, regulatory, labor, and political challenges facing agriculture are driving AgTech innovation towards more efficient, automated production. The Radicle Automation Challenge will find and fund the best and brightest ideas from around the world to help automate agricultural functions. The seed-stage investment and access to growers to trial the technology will accelerate the adoption of these new ag-automation technologies.

To qualify, companies should have received a minimum of $100,000 in investment capital, or in-kind capital, or have gone through an AgTech incubator or accelerator program. All applications will be reviewed by the investment committee, and a final shortlist of four companies will be invited to present live in front of a renowned panel of judges.

The winner will be announced at the Western Growers Innovation Showcase Dinner at the Forbes AgTech Summit on June 26, 2018.

Applications must be submitted by May 1, 2018. The finalists will be notified of selection on May 29, 2018.

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“There are two enemies of a start-up, time and money, and we are making a meaningful seed-stage commitment to ensure that we help entrepreneurs bring their technology to market more quickly. The $250k is tailored to the unique needs of automation entrepreneurs to ensure they have enough capital and, in partnership with Western Growers, a platform to trial their technology. If we believe in them, we move fast. We’re really excited to meet the start-ups who could be the future of the industry.”

Kirk Haney, CEO & Managing Partner
Radicle Growth

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“Agriculture has been at a labor deficit for more than a decade, and if our food production is to survive with a declining workforce we need R&D and more innovative technology. Since the opening of Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology in 2015, a key mission has been to accelerate the development of labor-saving technologies, and our new partnership with Radicle Growth to launch the Automation Challenge will be crucial in both our efforts to maintain a sustainable food supply.”

Tom Nassif, President/CEO
Western Growers