Growing Produce: Opinion: Give Tech Companies the Expertise They Lack

While I was eating lunch during United Fresh 2017 in Chicago, a venture capitalist for precision ag sat down next to me. He told me he and his firm are seeking specialty crop technology firms to invest in, but he’s running into a problem.

Not many startups understand real-world growing.

He has an ideal startup in mind, and is on the hunt for it. His Prince Charming of a precision ag technology firm has two appealing features. The first is also the most important: that the creative engineer responsible for developing new products grew up on a farm.

The capitalist said he finds too many startup tech companies lack practical understanding of how growers operate. They are finding solutions for problems that don’t exist or are too far into the future to matter.

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