As part of the inaugural AgTechX Food Safety event hosted by the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology (WG), the Center for Produce Safety, and the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture, WG introduced the AgTechX Food Safety Cohort, a global group of innovators specializing in prevention technologies and rapid diagnostics who will receive exclusive resources to help it launch and scale their projects.

“We are excited to welcome a talented group of innovators and entrepreneurs to Yuma to begin a year of focus on accelerating new food safety solutions," said Dennis Donohue, Director of the WGCIT. "We have learned that co-development between growers and processers and technology companies is how progress really happens. We have a great group to get started with and we hope to attract other players as we proceed through the year."

The initial members of the cohort are:

  • Javier Atencia, CEO and Founder, Pathotrak
  • Alex Athey, CEO, En Solución Inc.
  • Rafael Davila, Founder, Priority Sampling
  • Dr. Eyal Gerecht, President and CEO, TeraBAT, Inc.
  • Mike Hogan PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, PathogenDx
  • Tom Jacobs, VP Sales and Marketing, SnapDNA
  • Marc Petitpas, Senior Director, North America Sales, ScanTech Sciences Inc.
  • Carl "Skip" Rapp, CEO TeraBAT Inc.
  • Jonathan Sierra, CEO, Yarok Microbio Ltd.
  • Chip Starns, Co-Founder, EVP, ScanTech Sciences Inc.

The AgTechX Food Safety Yuma event, which featured panels on industry issues, regulatory views, and food safety innovation, kicked off a yearlong initiative aimed at food safety technology acceleration to improve the toolkit of rapid diagnostics and prevention technologies. The next two events in the series are planned for later this year in Woodland and King City, California.