It’s great to be back in San Francisco.

I’m joining the 20+ New Zealand participants for the 2017 Silicon Valley AgTech Immersion Program and Conference. It’s a four-day event and it’s going to be a blast.

We’ve lined up a number of exciting presentations, meetings and receptions with our partners, Silicon Valley Forum, that will enable the Kiwi delegation to connect and engage with AgTech entrepreneurs and investors across the whole of the Bay area. With over 60 other delegates joining the Program from around the world, the opportunity to network is immense. Apart from spending time in the city, we will be visiting Napa Valley & UC Davis to the north and Salinas & Monterey Bay to the south. On Thursday, we spend the whole day at Wharf42’s second home, for the 2017 Silicon Valley AgTech Conference; the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale.

The Plug and Play Tech Center – Wharf42’s home in Silicon Valley

Here, New Zealand will be hosting a major dedicated panel on the ‘Future of Dairying’. The panel is made up of Paul Whiston, CEO of LIC Automation, Tim Cutfield, Acting CEO of Agrigate (the recently announced joint venture between Fonterra & LIC), and Professor Cather Simpson, head of Auckland-based Engender Technologies.  I expect Cather to be on a high with the announcement last week of a new $1M license deal for Engender with a Chinese-based AI (artificial insemination) company. That was awesome news. The Future of Dairying panel will be moderated by James Wilde, NZTE North American Head of Agribusiness.

I’ll be updating throughout the week on both Twitter (@Wharf42HQ) and through this blog.

One key objective for me during the week is to engage with our US peers on the Farming2020 initiative. We already have one confirmed US speaker for the event at the LIC Innovation Farm during Techweek, next month. I am planning to get several others to join the event via video conference so that visitors to the Farming2020 event can share some of the learnings we will acquire over the next few days. It’s a really important component part of the event program that the organisers of Techweek 2017 are keen to encourage; enabling the New Zealand tech sector to reach out to the global market.

In a couple of hours (it’s still Sunday here), the Kiwi delegation are meeting up for a Welcome Reception downtown with NZ Ambassador Tim Groser and other US-based New Zealand trade representatives. It’s a reflection of some of the really positive outcomes that last year’s Silicon Valley AgTech Immersion Program & Conference have delivered for New Zealand AgTech. I am expecting more of the same this week.

Watch this space and the Wharf42 twitter account for all the action as it happens.