SwineTech, an Iowa-based startup, and BinSentry, a Canadian-based startup, are the winners of the THRIVE Midwest Challenge and recipients of the 2019 THRIVE-Forbes Innovation Icon Award at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis. The winners were announced on Thursday and 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.
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.
Impressive pitches, extensive domain expertise, and scalable market growth created a uniquely difficult winning decision for the THRIVE Midwest Challenge judges, a Forbes press release said.
The winning entries were credited for their refined technological advancements and growth potential in the agtech industry. SwineTech Inc., an agtech and animal health company, uses voice recognition in its SmartGuard device to improve farrowing operations. BinSentry Inc. takes antiquated feed bin monitoring and inventory data systems and reinvents it with Internet of Things (IoT) and powerful, supporting software applicable across agtech sectors and other relevant industries.
“This year, the THRIVE Midwest Challenge Program received 89 applications from 26 countries. Five startup finalists were selected to pitch live on stage,” John Hartnett said. “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.”
SVG Ventures Founder and CEO, John Hartnett, and ForbesLive SVP, Sherry Phillips, presented the awards during day two of the summit.
“The 2019 THRIVE-Forbes Innovation Icon Award honors those helping to bring solutions to the marketplace that will move the world forward,” said Phillips. “SwineTech and BinSentry are both gamechangers for the industry and true innovators.”
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.
Applications are now open for THRIVE’s sixth accelerator program. The application deadline is October 31. To apply, please visit the THRIVE website.
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