THRIVE European Challenge to identify agrifood innovators

THRIVE Europe Challenge to seek out start-ups solving some of the critical challenges facing the global agriculture industry.

Silicon Valley agrifood venture and innovation player SVG Ventures | THRIVE has launched the THRIVE Europe Challenge to seek out the most innovative agrifood start-ups in Europe.

SVG Ventures | THRIVE has also announced AgTechUCD, University College Dublin’s AgTech Innovation Centre, as a program partner to help drive awareness among the Irish and European agtech community.

“We want to highlight the best start-ups across the region who are disrupting agrifood while leaving a positive impact on the environment and society”

AgTechUCD is focused on accelerating the launch and scaling of AgTech and FoodTech start-ups. Based at the UCD Lyons Farm, AgTechUCD provides start-ups with access to on-farm experimental facilities, allowing testing and trialling products and services in a real-world environment, access to UCD food processing facilities, along with access to dedicated acceleration programmes and incubation facilities.

Telling the farm to fork story

Campaign poster for Thrive European Challenge.

The inaugural THRIVE Europe Challenge is a program for early-stage European agtech and foodtech start-ups and is part of THRIVE’s Global Initiative. This initiative launched with the USDA in 2020 aims to recognise and promote early-stage startup innovators that positively impact different regions of the world.

The European Challenge is closely aligned to the goals of the European Green Deal, specifically the Farm to Fork strategy which aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system. The EU has earmarked €10 billion alone to aid this transition under the Green Deal.

SVG Ventures | THRIVE led by Limerick native John Hartnett already has strong Irish roots and a number of leading Irish AgTech companies such as, MagGrow, Microgen Biotech, Nuritas and Orbis MES, recently acquired by, have participated in the THRIVE Accelerator Program.

“The Farm to Fork Strategy will be central to achieving the UN SDG’s and carbon neutrality and aligns with the key goals of our Global Initiative,” said John Hartnett, CEO and founder of SVG Ventures | THRIVE.

“We want to highlight the best start-ups across the region who are disrupting agrifood while leaving a positive impact on the environment and society.”

AgTechUCD will be an important partner for SVG Ventures | THRIVE going forward as many AgTech start-ups require access to lab space, testing facilities, co-working and other resources for product development which AgTechUCD can provide from both NovaUCD and UCD Lyons Farm.
“We are delighted to be partnering with SVG Ventures | THRIVE, through AgTechUCD, on this exciting new Europe Challenge Programme,” said Prof Orla Feely, UCD vice-president for Research, Innnovation and Impact.

“AgTechUCD is focused on building, connecting and supporting a broad agriculture innovation ecosystem, and this Challenge programme is a great opportunity for Irish and European start-ups to accelerate their growth and development.”

By John Kennedy (

Published: 22 March 2021