For Immediate Release:  Oct. 23, 2018

Contact:              Marilyn Bay Drake   303-594-3827  admin@coloradoproduce.org

The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) is asking creators of technology that will benefit Colorado produce growers to submit proposals to present their technologies at the CFVGA Fifth Annual Conference Feb. 25-26, 2019, at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel. The Produce Tech Innovation Pitch, a business pitch session with judges, was introduced at the 2018 conference.

“For the second year, CFVGA is inviting businesses with technology solutions for pressing issues in the produce sector to submit their proposals to pitch at the 2019 CFVGA annual conference,” said Adrian Card, chair of the CFVGA conference committee. “The tech pitch was very popular with attendees to our 2018 conference and pitchers reported it was valuable for them to get input from potential buyers of their technologies.”

Up to four businesses will be selected to deliver a brief presentation to a panel of judges and an audience of 300 conference attendees, followed by a Q&A session with judges. Judges will choose a winner, and the audience also will vote on a favorite. An addition to the tech pitch program in 2019 is that each candidate’s technology will be introduced at the beginning of the conference, on Feb. 25, to give attendees an opportunity to visit pitchers’ booths and learn more about their innovations.

The pitch will be the culminating event of the conference, taking place 2:30-4pm Feb. 26. Judges will include lenders, venture capitalists and others experienced in bringing new innovations to the marketplace.

Businesses selected to participate will receive two nights lodging, conference registration and exhibitor space. In addition, the two winners will receive business services from the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology and specific legal services from Faegre, Baker, Daniels.  Pitchers also receive a one-year membership in both Western Growers and Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and publicity through CFVGA.

“We want to encourage agricultural production technology that will help Colorado produce growers work better,” said Robert Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton, Colo. “The types of technologies we are seeking include but are not limited to labor saving, increased water availability and produce safety. Our conference attracts some 300 participants, including over 35 exhibitors and more than 40 of the most innovative produce growers in Colorado. This audience provides great exposure for ag innovation start-ups.”

More information on the CFVGA conference, including the technology pitch and applications is available at: https://cfvga.org  The deadline to submit technology pitches for consideration is Dec. 17. Those selected to pitch will be announced by Jan. 8, 2019.

The CFVGA is comprised of more than 250 members, including growers of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $485 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 90,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production.

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