Two start-up companies that aim to change the way pork producers farrow and feed their pigs were chosen as recepients of the THRIVE Midwest Challenge and the 2019 THRIVE-Forbes Innovation Icon Award this week. SVG Ventures and Forbes announced SwineTech, an Iowa-based startup, and BinSentry, a Canadian-based startup as the winners Thursday at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis. This is the second time this year that Forbes and SVG Ventures have presented awards to companies with best emerging technologies focused on advancing the future of food and agriculture.
The THRIVE Midwest Challenge is a pitch competition for startups developing ag biotechnology, livestock, and animal health and digital crop technology relevant for Midwest farmers and producers. The THRIVE Challenges provide startups with an opportunity to showcase their solutions before an audience of investors, corporate partners and local and national media. The winners were determined ultimately for the refined technological advancements and growth potential each brings to the agtech industry.
SwineTech Inc. is an agtech and animal health company that uses voice recognition in its SmartGuard device to innovate farrowing operations for the swine industry. BinSentry Inc. is reinventing antiquated feed bin monitoring and inventory data systems with Internet of Things and powerful supporting software that is applicable across agtech sectors and other relevant industries. Both SwineTech and BinSentry will receive a spot in the THRIVE VI Accelerator 2020 with a $100,000 investment from SVG Ventures, plus an advertisement in an upcoming issue of Forbes magazine and the opportunity to present at Forbes’ Under 30 Summit in October.
SVG Ventures founder and CEO John Hartnett and ForbesLive SVP Sherry Phillips presented the awards during day two of the summit. “We are delighted with the evolution of the Forbes–SVG Ventures partnership in advancing the future of Food and Agriculture,” Hartnett says. “This year, the THRIVE Midwest Challenge Program received 89 applications from 26 countries. Five startup finalists were selected to pitch live on stage. The winners, SwineTech and BinSentry, provide significant technological advancements that will play a key role in optimizing operational efficiencies for pork producers and Midwest farmers.”
“The 2019 THRIVE-Forbes Innovation Icon Award honors those helping to bring solutions to the marketplace that will move the world forward,” says Phillips. “SwineTech and BinSentry are both gamechangers for the industry and true innovators. They’re incredibly deserving of this honor and we look forward to showcasing them at our Under 30 Summit this fall and in an advertisement in our magazine.”
Judges for the competition included Rachelle Galvin, SVG Ventures THRIVE Midwest program director, Neal Gutterson, senior vice president, chief technology officer of Corteva Agriscience, and Chloe Sorvino, staff writer, Forbes Magazine. The THRIVE companies that competed on stage at the Forbes AgTech Summit were Advanced Animal Diagnostics, BinSentry, GroGuru, SwineTech and 3 Bar Biologics.
Applications are currently open for THRIVE’s sixth accelerator program. The THRIVE VI Accelerator program will take place over four months from February to June and culminate at the Forbes AgTech Summit June 2020. The application deadline is Oct. 31 2019. To apply, please visit the THRIVE website.