The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) seeks creators of technology that will benefit Colorado produce growers to submit proposals to present their technologies at the CFVGA Fifth Annual Conference Feb. 25-26, 2019, at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel. The Produce Tech Innovation Pitch, a business pitch session with judges, was introduced at the 2018 conference.
“Just recently, the 2018 CFVGA Produce Tech Innovation Pitch audience favorite, Augean Robotics, creator of the automated, robotic cart, won Western Growers AgSharks and a $250,000 equity investment offer,” said Adrian Card, chair of the CFVGA conference committee. “We aspire to attract this same caliber of company and give worthy pitchers the resources and feedback necessary to succeed.”
Up to four businesses will be selected to deliver a brief presentation to a panel of judges and an audience of 300 conference attendees, followed by a Q&A session with judges. Judges will choose a winner, and the audience also will vote on a favorite. An addition to the tech pitch program in 2019 is that each candidate’s technology will be introduced at the beginning of the conference, on Feb. 25, to give attendees an opportunity to visit pitchers’ booths and learn more about their innovations.
The pitch will be the culminating event of the conference, taking place 2:30-4pm Feb. 26. Judges will include a produce grower plus lenders, venture capitalists and others experienced in bringing new innovations to the marketplace.
Businesses selected to participate will receive two nights lodging, conference registration and exhibitor space. In addition, the two winners will receive business services from the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology and specific legal services from Faegre, Baker, Daniels. Pitchers also receive a one-year membership in both Western Growers and Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and publicity through CFVGA.
“Appropriate agricultural production technology that will help Colorado produce growers work better is what we are looking to feature,” said Robert Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton, Colo. “This includes but is not limited to labor saving, increased water availability and produce safety. Our conference attracts some 300 participants, including over 35 exhibitors and more than 40 of the most innovative produce farms in Colorado. This audience provides great exposure for ag innovation start-ups.”
More information on the CFVGA conference, including the technology pitch and request for proposals is available at:https://cfvga.org The deadline to submit technology pitches for consideration is Dec. 17. Those selected to pitch will be announced by Jan. 8, 2019.
The CFVGA is comprised of more than 250 members, including growers of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $485 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 90,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production.
Learn more about the CFVGA online @ https://coloradoproduce.org/