Silicon Valley powerhouse SVG Ventures’ THRIVE and the University of Guelph – “Canada’s food university” – have partnered to accelerate innovation in the Canadian agri-food sector by creating a platform for agri-food entrepreneurs and start-ups to gain access to impactful, technology-driven research.

SVG Ventures and University of Guelph have signed a memorandum of understanding to support the establishment of SVG’s THRIVE Canada Accelerator and start-up program.

The THRIVE Accelerator Program at U of G will support SVG’s mission to advance the next generation of technology to support growth in the agriculture and food industries and give U of G researchers access to SVG’s global network of entrepreneurs, start-ups and corporate clients.

“Investing in agri-food research leads to innovative solutions that keep Ontario’s agri-food sector strong,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This new initiative, championed by the University of Guelph, will provide a competitive edge for farmers and food businesses, building resiliency in our food supply chain and the province’s economy.”

SVG Ventures is a leading global agri-food innovation and investment platform comprising agriculture, food and technology corporations, universities and investors. With 40 ag-tech investments, it is the most active ag-tech investor in the world.

Based in Silicon Valley, California, and involving more than 5,000 start-ups from 100-plus countries, SVG invests in and accelerates and creates access for entrepreneurs to scale globally. THRIVE Canada is part of SVG Ventures’ long-term strategic plan to connect with Silicon Valley investors, start-ups and corporate partners to bolster innovation and development in Canada’s ag-tech sector.

“Our partnership with U of G – Canada’s food university – signifies our continued commitment to elevating the next generation of entrepreneurs with the resources, expertise and support to address the critical challenges facing the global agri-food sector,” said John Hartnett, chief executive officer and founder of SVG Ventures. “We look forward to expanding our reach within the Canadian ecosystem to harness the power of technology to advance the future of food and agriculture.”

University of Guelph ranks third in the world for agriculture science and fourth in the world for food science. Working with SVG and its leading agri-food innovation platform, THRIVE, will enable the University to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative solutions.

“I am ecstatic that U of G is partnering with SVG Ventures on the ground floor of their efforts to catalyze the Canadian agri-food innovation ecosystem,” said Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research).

“Guelph researchers have been drivers of agri-food innovation for over a century. This partnership is a logical continuation of that history, better enabling us to address the needs of the agri-food sector today while providing it with innovations and a highly skilled talent pool that will power the sector for the foreseeable future. This partnership will help the University of Guelph to further our ambition to improve life – for Ontarians, for Canadians and for the world.”