About Us

Valley Ventures is dedicated to the advancement of water, energy or technology startups focused on agricultural applications through a four-month accelerator program.

The Valley Ventures Accelerator is a program of the International Center for Water Technology at Fresno State. Its main goal it to help promote the growth of participating ventures. Whether that be involving students, staff, and faculty or setting up a company’s technology on the 1,000 acre farm. It all starts with Fresno State’s strong focus on real world agricultural issues and the involvement with private industry partners. With such a focus on leveraging academic and public resources for the development of the agricultural, water, energy nexus, Fresno State will continue to be an instrumental institution for Valley Ventures.

Throughout the program, companies will receive close engagement with entrepreneurs and industry leaders in the agriculture, water, and energy technology space. Our mentors and speakers come from a variety of backgrounds ranging from successful founders who have built and sold companies, to experienced investors well versed in the agriculture tech space, to seasoned executives who run or even own some of the largest agriculture related firms in the nation. 

Through these relationships, we prepare companies to access investment opportunities, generate revenue, and establish a solid understanding of the industry.

 

Six Ways Valley Ventures Can Help Your Business

  1. Participating companies will receive close engagement with entrepreneurs and industry leaders in the agriculture, water, and energy technology space through networking events and guest speakers.
  2. Workshop modules that will help ventures further develop their sales processes and their fundraising efforts.
  3. Exposure to key connections in the water, energy, agricultural space and investors during public events such as the Demo Day.
  4. Full support from the staff of Valley Ventures and affiliates when possible: BlueTechValley, WET Center, Center for Irrigation Technology, Fresno State, etc.
  5. Opportunity for technical guidance from affiliate staff outside of workshops.
  6. Possibility to have technology set up and demonstrated on the Fresno State farm operations.

 

Our program offers participating ventures:

  • The opportunity to engage with potential customers, stakeholders, and leading investors.
  • Feedback and guidance from entrepreneurs who have been in your shoes. 
  • A community of like-minded entrepreneurs looking to grow with you.
  • Sector-specific startup curriculum tailored to the needs of agriculture, water, and energy tech companies.

The program is structured as four intensive workshops over the course of three months. Additional remote, online collaboration between sessions will also be available. Relocation for companies is not required, with the requirement being attendance at the workshops. Valley Ventures does not require equity from the companies who are accepted.

 

What we are looking for:

  • Scalability: A for-profit business model with high potential to scale.
  • State: Must have an MVP and able to show meaningful customer validations (not limited to revenue, can include users, successful pilot studies, strategic partnerships, etc.)

 

Fall 2018 Cohort Applications are now open! Apply Today! 

Valley Ventures is made possible thanks to the 2017 i6 Challenge Grant awarded to the International Center for Water Technology at Fresno State University, the California Energy Commission’s Regional Energy Innovation Grant and a network of private and public sector partners. Valley Ventures is housed at the WET Center at California State University, Fresno, strategically located in the heart of the nation’s agricultural hotspot.