Thrive : Alternative Growth Options in Ag-Tech Entrepreneurship

By George Foster, Sheila Melvin
2020 | Case No. E713 | Length 11 pgs.

THRIVE’s mission was to accelerate, invest in, and work with entrepreneurs, investors, and Fortune 500 corporations to advance the future of food and agriculture through innovation. Comprised of top agriculture, food and technology corporations, universities, and investors, THRIVE had built a community of more than 2500 startups from 90 countries. With John Hartnett as CEO and Helen Hartnett as COO, THRIVE ran an accelerator, a fund, and, in partnership with Forbes, a major agricultural technology (agtech) summit. Interest in its mission and services seemed to be growing exponentially.

Indeed, the sector was generating so much excitement that THRIVE was inundated with a diverse set of opportunities and calls for its founders’ mindshare. Excited as they were about the opportunities before them, John and Helen were beginning to feel as if they held a rubber band that was getting increasingly stretched. “Business has grown substantially,” explained John, “400 or 500 percent, and it’s going really, really well. So we’re sitting here in 2020 thinking: How do we expand without bringing ourselves down to our knees?” This case explores THRIVE’s options as it looked to expand both domestically and around the world.

Learning Objective

1. Highlight entrepreneurship in AgTech and its many global arenas.

2. Illustrate importance of prioritizing opportunities.

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