Steinbeck Innovation AgTech Summit Hailed as Massive Success, launches new Forbes/SVG AgTech Summit and Thrive Accelerator Program
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July 11, 2014

Steinbeck Innovation Press Contact:
Erin Fogg 831-515-6403

Steinbeck Innovation AgTech Summit Hailed as Massive Success 

Launches new Forbes/SVG AgTech Summit and Thrive Accelerator Program

SALINAS, CA â€“ SVG Partners, Forbes, Steinbeck Innovation and the City of Salinas, brought together a crowd of more than 150 representatives of the leading companies and organizations of Silicon Valley and Salinas Valley this week to address the future of agriculture in America. During the day-long Ag Tech Summit 2014, intimate panels of industry experts led to breakthrough announcements in the partnering fields. 

Among Wednesday's announcements was the launch of the Thrive Accelerator, led by SVG Partners in association with Forbes, to address future global food demands. By the year 2050, the world's population will increase to 9 billion people, meaning global food production will have to increase by 70%, with technology being critical to the jump. The Thrive Accelerator will allow select companies access to the best expertise and resources of top agriculture and tech companies helping deploy their innovative new technologies. Five companies pitched their great ag tech ideas following the announcement, giving attending leaders a concrete sense of the huge opportunities to come, including:
  • Marian Singer, Co-Founder and CEO, WellIntel
  • Alvaro Ramirez, Founder and CEO, eHarvestHub
  • Tom Shapland, Co-Founder and CEO, Tule Technologies
  • Patty Britton, VP, Sales and Business Development, Thin Film
  • Sara Risorto, Operations Director, TerrAvion

“We are delighted to launch the Thrive Accelerator program in partnership with Forbes," said John Stanton, General Partner of SVG Ventures. "We are seeking the best, most innovative companies that are transforming agriculture through technology.”

The Summit featured intimate panel discussions with agriculture and academic influencers, as well as plenary addresses from industry heavy hitters including Bruce Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Taylor Farms, Deborah Magid, Director, Software Strategy for IBM Venture Capital Group, Mike Federle, Chief Operating Officer of Forbes Media, Dave Evans, Co-Founder and CTO of a Silicon Valley stealth start-up (and former Cisco Chief Futurist), Pete Williams, CTO, IBM Big Green Innovations, Dan Dougherty, Business Development and Solutions Strategy, John Deere Intelligent Solution Group, Luis Alvarez, President and CEO, Alvarez Technology Group Inc., and John Hartnett, CEO of SVG Partners LLC and Co-founder of Steinbeck Innovation Cluster. The full Summit program and bios of participating speakers are available here.

The Summit's crowning jewel was an announcement from Forbes, SVG Partners and The Steinbeck Innovation Cluster, that â€œForbes Reinventing America: The AgTech Summit” will take place in Salinas Valley, California in July 2015. This international caliber event is expected to bring together hundreds of the sharpest minds from Silicon Valley and global agriculture in the Salinas Valley to tackle some of the world's most critical challenges. From biotech Fnd precision farming to big data's role in feeding a planet of eight billion people, “Forbes Reinventing America: The AgTech Summit” will explore topics at the core of this vital trend, and promises to be the definitive gathering for leaders at the intersection of technology and agriculture.

"I'm thrilled to welcome ‘Forbes Reinventing America: The AgTech Summit’ and its attendees, who come from some of the world's largest agriculture and tech companies,” said Joe Gunter, Mayor of Salinas. “This is a great win for the Steinbeck Innovation Cluster, for the ag industry and for the Salinas Valley, the emerging AgTech capital of the nation.”

John Hartnett of SVG Partners announces plans for "Forbes Reinventing America: The AgTech Summit" and the new Thrive Accelerator with Mike Federle of Forbes, Bruce Taylor of Taylor Farms and Mayor Joe Gunter of Salinas.

Mike Federle of Forbes, John Hartnett of SVG Partners and Steinbeck Innovation, John Stanton of SVG Ventures and Thrive, and Paul Noglows of Forbes Reinventing America.

Dave Evans, Former Cisco Chief Futurist, addresses the crowd of 150+ at AgTech Summit 2014.
* High resolution images available upon request.*
For more information or to request an interview, please contact Erin Fogg: (831) 515-6403,
About the Forbes Reinventing America Summit Series
For the past three years, Forbes magazine’s Reinventing America series has been covering the innovation and disruption taking place in diverse industries across America’s industrial heartland, from logistics and transportation to energy and manufacturing. Following the success of the inaugural “Forbes Reinventing America Summit,” which took place in Chicago in March of 2014, Forbes is creating a series of Summits that are bringing the “Reinventing America” conversation to life around key verticals, such as AgTech, Energy, Innovation, Manufacturing and Workforce.

About Forbes Media
Forbes Media, publisher of Forbes magazine and, is an authoritative source of news and information on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and affluent lifestyles., a leading business website, currently reaches 24 million unique monthly visitors, according to May 2014 comScore worldwide. Forbes magazine, Forbes Asia, Forbes Europe and the 36 local language editions published by the company’s licensed partners attract a global audience of more than 7 million readers. The Forbes magazine iPad app, which was launched in 2013, merges the power of print storytelling with social sharing and the web. The company also publishes ForbesLife magazine, a luxury lifestyle publication, and plans to launch in September 2014.

About Silicon Valley Global Partners
Silicon Valley Global Partners (SVG Partners) is a management consulting firm founded by experienced technology executives that drive competitive advantage across organizations, from strategy to implemenation.

About The Steinbeck Innovation Foundation
The Steinbeck Innovation Foundation is building a new development model, seeded by city government and led by private industry. The Steinbeck Innovation Foundation’s model is composed of four pillars of development support:
  • Education (including training and advanced research)
  • Startup acceleration
  • Investment
  • Corporate strategic engagement
Salinas’ industrial cluster – dubbed the Steinbeck innovation cluster – leverages an innovative network of civic, academic, technological, corporate, and philanthropic partners ot help younger generations become entrepreneurs, drive innovation in fields and factories, and bring high tech to industrial zones.

About Thrive Program
Thrive Accelerator, launched by SVG Partners in July 2014, is a highly selective mentorship and investment program for technology-enabled startups in the Precision Agriculture space. Ten startup companies are being selected to gather and connect in the Salinas area for mentorship, collaboration and direct access to the top fresh agriculture companies in the world. This program is designed to help today’s top innovators turn their dreams of revolutionizing agriculture into reality. Through Thrive Accelerator, select companies will gain access to the best expertise and resources of top agriculture and tech companies to help deploy their innovative new technologies.

About Salinas Valley
Just one hour south of Silicon Valley, Salinas’ $8 billion agricultural industry is ground zero for fresh food production,and the logical epicenter of the “smart farming” movement that brings together the best in farming, technology, water and energy innovation.

Press Contacts
Erin Fogg, Steinbeck Innovation Foundation,, 831-402-0871
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