Interest in the agtech sector has exploded in recent years, with total investments doubling in 2015 to $4.6B. Despite this activity, there are several unmet challenges facing stakeholders across the supply chain in food & agriculture. Meanwhile, increasing pressure from consumers and the government on how agricultural products are grown, as well as volatile commodity markets and climate change expose additional opportunity for disruption.
Village Capital and our partners recognize that these challenges are highly interconnected and that real solutions will require collaboration and systems-level thinking. With this in mind, our US Agriculture 2016 program will support ventures from across the value chain who are helping stakeholders provide sustainable, healthy and accessible agricultural goods to drive a better food and agriculture system.
In partnership with Blue Sky Network and Hain Celestial, Village Capital will continue the longest-running program for ventures tackling challenges in the food and agriculture sector. The program will support entrepreneurs with an award-winning program curriculum, 1:1 mentorship with sector leaders, and tailored engagements with strategic partners and investors. At the end of the program, the top two peer-selected companies will each receive $100,000 in pre-committed investment.
Building a better food & agriculture system requires innovation at every level of our supply chain. This includes, but is not limited to, innovations around:
- Precision agriculture and technologies and services that encourage more sustainable growing practices.
- Driving better market access and appropriate technology for local food systems and/or sustainable agriculture
- Efficiencies in supply chain management, traceability and food safety
- Increasing access to and availability of healthy, sustainable food
- Workshop 1- Louisville, KY: Nov 30 – Dec 3, 2016
- Workshop 2- Davis, CA: January 24– 27, 2017
- Workshop 3- Louisville & Lexington, KY: March 7 – 10, 2017