THRIVE Young Innovators Challenge Brings Together the Future Generation of Leaders

April 05th, 2017
Young Innovators

Over 125 local Monterey County students gather to develop skills to meet the requirements of a competitive, innovative and entrepreneurial economy

Salinas, Calif. – (March 31st, 2017) – Students interested in technology will be convening in Downtown Salinas on Friday, March 31st, at the CSUMB @ Salinas City Center building to take part in the first annual THRIVE Young Innovators Challenge. This event is being hosted by the THRIVE Innovation Foundation (formally known as the Steinbeck Innovation Foundation), a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering local youth to become the next generation of entrepreneurs and creating the environment necessary for AgTech to thrive.

This foundation and challenge are two of the latest strategy initiatives to build a sustainable Global AgTech ecosystem for the region in partnership with the City of Salinas and leading industry partners.

“The THRIVE Young Innovators Challenge is key to building the innovation pillar of our strategy to inspire young kids into STEM and entrepreneurship at an early age,” said John Hartnett, Founder & CEO of SVG Partners. “In, our short four-year history, we have built a Global AgTech ecosystem that has positioned Salinas as an AgTech hub recognized across the world.”

“Taylor Farms believes it is of the utmost importance to inspire innovation in local youth and give them outlets to explore technology and science,” says Margaret D’Arrigo, VP, Community Development, Taylor Farms and THRIVE Innovation Foundation Board Member. “This is why we sponsor events like Thrive Young Innovators Challenge where the next generation of leaders are encouraged to develop key skills for the future.”

The event has over 125 students registered, with teams coming from ten different middle and high schools throughout Monterey County. Student teams will be challenged to create a technology driven solution addressing the theme of “Feeding 9 Billion People by the Year 2030”. Each team will be provided with a mentor to assist them in brainstorming, project development and presentation. Projects will be evaluated at the end of the day by a panel of judges, where top teams will be awarded cash prizes and a day trip to Silicon Valley to visit the Google and Intel headquarters.

Sponsors include Taylor Farms, the City of Salinas, SVG Partners, Hartnell College, The California Endowment, CSUMB @ Salinas City Center and Alvarez Technology. The event will take place from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM on March 31st.


Taylor Farms is North America’s favorite maker of salads and healthy fresh foods. Taylor Farms focuses on innovation by consistently developing new products and improving production methods. Taylor Farms is grounded in a commitment to quality with products harvested, packaged and shipped at the peak of freshness. Taylor Farms is family owned and based in Salinas, California with twelve operating companies and distribution facilities throughout North America.