equitable food systems

About Us

Welcome to The VINE, California’s leading agriculture, food, and biotech innovation network. Our mission is to harness the power of open innovation to help industries and entrepreneurs grow and scale globally, while catalyzing technology innovation and commercialization for productive, sustainable, and equitable food systems.

Our Vision

At The VINE, we envision a thriving and inclusive innovation ecosystem in the fields of agriculture, food, and biotech, not only in California but also beyond. We aim to build a more productive, sustainable, and equitable food system that benefits California’s future and the nation as a whole. By connecting, building, and growing together, we can shape the future of agriculture and food innovation.

Our Story

The VINE was established in 2015 with a shared vision of driving innovation in agriculture, food, and biotech. It was initiated and partially funded by UC ANR (University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources) with the aim of providing entrepreneurs in the industry access to the wealth of agricultural expertise present in Cooperative Extension and Research and Extension Centers throughout California.


We connect entrepreneurs to a vast network of public and private sector resources. By cultivating relationships with major companies, industry experts, accelerators, research groups, nonprofits, and startups, we link entrepreneurs to resources that address their specific needs. This not only aids businesses in staying in California but also increases inclusivity and diversity in agriculture and entrepreneurship.


The VINE builds industry-wide collaborations focused on rapid commercialization. We bring industry stakeholders together, analyze the market and their products/offerings, and provide informed opinions about the best available solutions. In doing so, we improve available solutions and accessibility to those solutions.


With regions like California’s Central Valley having an outsized impact on the world’s food supply and economic vitality, we see significant potential to grow this impact. The VINE grows regional capacity to support global innovation as an economic opportunity. We lead and partner on workforce development initiatives, connect major food-producing regions, and co-sponsor and organize major conferences to amplify best practices and drive growth.

Our Geographical Reach

Based in Davis, California, The VINE operates statewide and has a network of partners across the state. We collaborate with nine research and extension centers and cooperative extension offices in 57 of California’s 58 counties. Our industry and nonprofit partners are primarily located in the Central Valley, the Central Coast, and the rural inland region of Southern California. Through our collaborations, we aim to create a geographically diverse ecosystem that fosters innovation and supports entrepreneurs throughout California.

The VINE Mission

Who We Work With

Our mission to transform the future of agriculture, food, and biotech relies on collaboration and the exchange of ideas. Our work involves a wide range of stakeholders, each contributing their unique expertise, insights, and resources.


We closely collaborate with startups, providing the support and resources they need to grow. From mentorship to funding connections, we help turn innovative ideas into viable, impactful businesses.


Large corporations play a key role in our network, contributing industry knowledge, resources, and potential partnership opportunities. Together, we foster open innovation and facilitate the development and commercialization of new technologies to address pressing industry challenges.


Investors are a crucial part of our ecosystem. They provide the necessary capital for startups to grow and scale their operations. We help connect entrepreneurs with investors who understand the unique dynamics and opportunities of the agri-food industry.

Agri-food Industry

Our work is deeply interconnected with the broader agri-food industry. We collaborate with growers, processors, retailers, and other industry players to understand their challenges and opportunities, ensuring the solutions developed within our network align with real-world needs.

Academic Institutions

Our collaboration extends to academic institutions, tapping into a wealth of agricultural expertise and research capabilities. Our close relationship with the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) and other educational entities fosters a rich exchange of knowledge and promotes the development of next-generation solutions.

Global Partners

Our impact extends beyond the borders of California. We are part of a global network of collaborators, including international entities like the Dutch government. Through partnerships such as the Global Controlled Environment Agriculture Consortium, we work to accelerate profitable indoor horticulture worldwide.

Our Partnerships

Our Relationship

with UCANR

The VINE is an initiative initiated and partially funded by UC ANR (University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources). Our colleagues in Cooperative Extension and Research and Extension Centers throughout California possess a wealth of agricultural expertise.

One of the primary aims of The VINE is to provide California ag entrepreneurs with access to these resources, similar to how farmers do, and facilitate the conversion of this knowledge into commercially viable products and services.

Embracing Open
Innovation and Inclusivity

At The VINE, we believe in the power of open innovation, which involves incorporating a wide range of perspectives during the research and development process. This approach leads to refined and improved end products or solutions, benefiting both consumers and developers.

We are committed to promoting inclusivity and diversity in agriculture and entrepreneurship. By bridging the barrier of industry connections, we strive to create equal opportunities for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. Additionally, we focus on technology solutions for smaller farms, aiming to level the playing field and provide resources for historically marginalized and isolated communities.


Join Us in Shaping the Future of Agriculture

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, investor, researcher, industry stakeholder, or simply passionate about driving innovation in agriculture and food, we invite you to join us at The VINE. Together, we can create a more productive, sustainable, and equitable food system that benefits California’s future and beyond.

Connect with us, explore our programs, and be part of our vibrant innovation ecosystem. Let’s connect, build, and grow towards a thriving future for agriculture, food, and biotech.