Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Why Is Funding a Challenge for Women-Led Agtech Companies?

By Amy Wu
Precision Ag

September 18, 2018 — Salinas, CA

When it comes to women-led agtech companies the funding discussion never seems to cease.

In June after the The New Food Economy-sponsored screening of “From Farms to Incubators” (a mini-documentary that I directed that tells the stories of minority women entrepreneurs in agtech), a lively discussion focused on the challenges of attaining funding ensued.

In the audience was Tinia Pina, the founder and CEO of Re-Nuble and a member of THRIVE IV Accelerator cohort. In 2015, Pina launched Re-Nuble an agtech startup that produces a chemical-free hydroponic fertilizer. Pinia said being part of THRIVE has helped the company significantly, especially when it comes to connecting with growers, agronomists, and food markets outside of New York. But funding remains a challenge and reasons might be driven by the investors in the sector, she said.

Based on her experiences and observations she believes “female investors are less likely to invest with a ‘herd mentality’ that I find most investors gravitate towards.” She continued, “I, personally, find women to be more open minded to unique business models that have the potential to resolve larger problems than the same acute problem often chased by multiple investors.”

Pinia points out that some of the challenge could be the newness of the agtech sector itself.

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