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The Radicle Automation Competition Accepting Applications

Western Growers and Radicle Growth have teamed up to create The Radicle Automation Challenge. The competition is looking to find and fund the best and brightest ideas to help automate agriculture. Entrepreneurs will compete for a minimum of $250,000 in investment capital as well as gain access to farms where they can pilot their technologies. 

“Agriculture has been at a labor deficit for more than a decade. If our food production is to survive with a declining workforce, we need R&D and more innovative technology,” says Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers. “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. Our new partnership with Radicle Growth to launch the Automation Challenge will be crucial in both our efforts to maintain a sustainable food supply.”

To qualify, companies should have received a minimum of $100,000 in investment capital, or in-kind capital, or have gone through an ag tech incubator or accelerator program. All applications will be reviewed by the investment committee. All applications can be submitted to radicle.vc/the-radicle-challenge/. The deadline for applications is May 1, 2018. 

Four finalists will be chosen to showcase their technologies to investors, corporate partners, and agribusiness experts. The finalists will be notified of selection on May 29, 2018. The winner will be announced during the Western Growers Innovation Showcase dinner at the Forbes AgTech Summit on June 26, 2018.

“There are two enemies of a start-up: time and money. We are making a meaningful seed-stage commitment to ensure that we help entrepreneurs bring their technology to market more quickly,” says Kirk Haney, CEO and managing partner of Radicle Growth. “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.”

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