Olds College receives funding to join THRIVE ag business accelerator platform


Olds College is receiving a $200,000 investment from the Alberta government to support a new partnership with SVG Ventures’ THRIVE accelerator and startup platform, which focuses on bringing technology-driven solutions to the agriculture and food sectors.

The investment, funded through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP), builds on the Alberta government’s September 21 commitment of $1 million for Olds College’s Smart Agriculture Applied Research Program.

THRIVE is a global agri-food investment and innovation platform owned by SVG Ventures, headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. SVG and Farm Credit Canada launched THRIVE Canada earlier this month in an effort to bridge Silicon Valley investors, startups, and corporate partners to boost innovation in Canadian agriculture.

Both Olds College and the University of Guelph are partnering with THRIVE Canada.

Alberta Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen (pictured above at the Olds/THRIVE announcement on Tuesday) says the partnership with Olds College will help develop Alberta’s agri-food system by providing guidance on high-value cluster opportunities, and more.

“Agriculture will lead our economic recovery in Alberta. Alberta’s farmers, ranchers, and processors are global leaders in innovation making Alberta the best place in the world to invest,” Dreeshen explains. “Together, Olds College, SVG Ventures, and strategic investors like the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) will deliver on projects that will support Alberta entrepreneurs and strengthen our supply chain.”

The joint effort will support early-stage companies in development, notes Stuart Cullum, president of Olds College.

“The Olds College Smart Farm is focused on building and supporting a broad-based agriculture innovation ecosystem that connects researchers, technology companies, producers, manufacturers, retailers, and learners to accelerate the development and adoption of technology and practice, and enhance the economic impact of Canada’s agriculture sector,” says Cullum. “Olds College’s collaboration with SVG Ventures strengthens Alberta’s platform to support early-stage companies by connecting with SVG’s global network of entrepreneurs and corporate clients that are looking to invest in the agriculture sector here in Canada.”

John Hartnett, chief executive officer and founder of SVG Ventures and THRIVE, says partnerships such as this one with Olds College “exemplify our focus on global entrepreneurs and continued commitment to solving the critical challenges facing the global agri-food sector.”

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