Western Growers Awarded $30K from Wells Fargo for AgTech Innovations

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Thu. July 14th, 2016 - by Jessica Donnel

IRVINE, CA - In recognition of its place in the fight to advance agricultural technology, Western Growers has received a $30,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. The grant was awarded during the opening reception of the 2016 Forbes AgTech Summit on July 13. 

Hank Giclas, Senior Vice President, Western Growers

"Investment in technological solutions has never been more critical to agriculture, as we’ll need to dramatically increase food production to feed a rapidly growing population," explained Hank Giclas, Western Growers’ Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Science & Technology. "Wells Fargo’s generous contribution will be a key factor in helping Western Growers bring entrepreneurs together with farmers to develop these creative innovations."

Members of Western Growers Receiving the Wells Fargo Award

According to a press release, Western Growers will use these funds to create scholarships for entrepreneurs who join the newly launched Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology, which we announced late last year. Wells Fargo, which has a proven record of lending to the U.S. commercial agriculture sector, will be able to lend critical sector expertise and help speed up commercialization for ag tech startups, the ag group explains. 

Matt Servatius, Head of CleanTech Banking, Wells Fargo

"Working together with Western Growers to create a scholarship program for agriculture technology entrepreneurs will promote commercialization of technical solutions for agriculture," said Matt Servatius, Head of Wells Fargo CleanTech Banking. "The Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology engages our customers and other stakeholders that are developing technologies to promote sustainability and resource efficiency."

Start-up companies that are awarded a scholarship will have access to the following, Western Growers says:

  • A hot desk or workstation at the Center for Innovation & Technology for one year
  • All the benefits of being a Western Growers’ member and resident of the Center
  • Routine classes, workshops and networking opportunities to provide business and legal knowledge and customer connections
  • Amenities of a traditional office, including: 
    • Internet
    • Phones
    • Printers
    • Copiers, meeting and conference rooms
    • Technology to live stream events and presentations

Scholarships funded through the Western Growers Foundation will be awarded based on financial need, utility to industry, business model and market potential, among other criteria, the press release reveals. The 2,800-square-foot Center for Innovation & Technology currently houses 20 startups, and the scholarship would support 10 additional technology companies to receive a coveted spot in the incubator.

To apply for the scholarship or to learn more about the Center for Innovation & Technology, the organization asks that you contact Hank Giclas at [email protected].

Western Growers