Agrifood innovation investor S . from Silicon ValleyVG set up shop in Melbourne with $50 million fund to support local agtech startups.

SVG will launch its $50 million THRIVE Australia Company Fund to invest in agtech startups in Australia and New Zealand.

Victorian Secretary of State for Economic Development, Tim Pallas, visited California over the weekend to meet SVG founder John Hartnett and close the deal for his state.

Hartnett, a former senior executive at several NASDAQ-listed companies, founded SVG in 2010. The company previously dove into Australian waters with the THRIVE Australia Challenge Award in December 2020, mentoring several Australian agtech startups before choosing animal monitoring platform Ceres Tag as the winner to pitch in the US as part of the THRIVE program.

“We are excited to begin our ANZ journey from Victoria – a major agricultural market, home to leading research organizations and a central location to achieve AgTech success,” said Hartnett.

SVG has built a community of more than 6,000 startups from 100 countries over the past 12 years, working with entrepreneurs, investors and Fortune 500 companies to drive innovation in food and agriculture.

The company will bring its own platform – the flagship THRIVE Accelerator Program, Corporate Innovation Program, development programs and events – to Victoria, and also plans to partner with La Trobe University’s Australian Food Innovation Center (AFIC).

Tim Pallas said the state government’s support of SGV launching a Melbourne base will give farmers access to more advanced technology and give Victorian startups more opportunities

Melbourne will also host the annual THRIVE Australia Innovation and Investment Summit, where some of the world’s brightest minds, thought leaders and entrepreneurs will come together to showcase creative and innovative solutions to drive the AgTech sector forward.

“This is an important vote of confidence in Victorian AgTech and the reward will be in jobs now and in the future,” said Pallas.

“It will be a big boost for the innovators developing new products and processes to transform agriculture in Victoria and around the world.”

The Government of Victoria has also supported the AgTech regional innovation network, which connects farmers, technology experts, entrepreneurs, research organizations and universities. The network includes the Victorian AgTech Entrepreneurs Initiative, which supports other AgTech pre-accelerator programs.

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