By Mark Tullis | Posted - Jan 30th, 2024





Utah Tech University and Arieli Capital Invite Applications for the START AgriTech/DeserTech Program

Arieli Capital and Frontier RNG Agro-climate Innovation Hub, in collaboration with Utah Tech University and Haifa Group, announced the launch of the START AgriTech Program.

The START AgriTech program is a one-on-one business and networking opportunity, connecting seed to series A-round startups with investors, partners, and clients. Participants will meet with active Utah-based and international investors and government leaders from more than ten countries while exploring pilot and R&D opportunities. 

It will take place April 15-18, 2024 at Utah Tech University's Atwood Innovation Plaza in St George, Utah. The deadline to apply to the program is February 5th, 2024. 

Interested parties may apply here for the program. 

The START program leverages global resources and fosters the growth, commercialization, and expansion of startups in the following sectors:

  • Desert Tech
  • Water Tech
  • Regenerative Agriculture
  • Smart Farming
  • Plant Health
  • Nutrition

The event focuses attention on global challenges of climate change and the expansion of the earth's deserts and drylands. The goal of the event is to promote innovation and technological solutions to those challenges. Future supplies of energy, health, food, and water are at stake.

The program is specifically designed for startups in their seed to Series A phase, that are developing innovative solutions in deserttech, watertech, regenerative agriculture, smart farming, plant health, nutrition and other related fields.

This collaboration presents a distinctive blend of expertise, diverse cultural experiences, and innovative implementation methods applicable across different locations and crops. These elements hold significant importance within the traditionally conservative landscape of global agriculture farming operations.

The program grew out of a 2022 trade mission to Israeli by members of Utah's state legislature, World Trade Center and other entities.

“The U.S. is Israel’s single largest trading partner, and Israel is the second-largest trading partner for the U.S. in the Middle East,” shared Jonathan Freedman, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah. “This opportunity between Utah and Israel is an important step in moving Utah from the crossroads of the West to the crossroads of the world.”

Estimates on the value of the climate-tech sector are upwards of $185 billion, and the agriculture-tech sector overall is estimated at $7.8 trillion. Arieli actively invests in desert and agriculture technologies alongside its innovation center, Frontier, located in the Israeli Negev desert.

Or Haviv, Partner and Head of Innovation at Arieli commented, “Excited for our strong partnership with Utah Tech University, about 30% of Utah’s land mass is desert, just like that of Israel's Negev, which accounts for 60% of Israel’s land mass. Creating a direct connection between Frontier's desert R&D facilities in Israel and Utah Tech University’s desert innovation facilities in Utah, opens up a new era of desert, agriculture, and climate innovation on a global level."

Arieli Capital, is a multi-generational, family-led, global holding and investment firm founded in 2016 and headquartered in Tel Aviv, London and New York, with a presence in Zurich and Salt Lake City.

Mark Tullis
About the Author

Mark Tullis - Mark is Co-founder and Editor of TechBuzz News. Born and raised in Ogden, Utah, Mark attended Weber State, Brigham Young, and Tufts Universities. He has been involved in tech, media, publishing and education since the 1980s. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and playing the saxophone.



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