Unlocking Opportunities in the Agrifood Innovation Ecosystem
Strawberry harvest as example of a Navigator program

What is The Navigator?

The Navigator is a core resource within The VINE initiative, designed to connect startups, investors, researchers, and industry stakeholders in the agrifood sector. Our mission is to facilitate meaningful connections that drive innovation, accelerate growth, and shape the future of agriculture and food.

Why Choose The Navigator?


Meaningful Connections

We go beyond surface-level introductions. The Navigator focuses on creating meaningful connections that align with your specific goals and objectives. Whether it’s securing funding, finding a mentor, or accessing market opportunities, we connect you with the right people who can help you advance your business.

Industry Expertise

Our team of experts has deep industry knowledge and experience. We understand the challenges and opportunities in the agrifood sector and can provide valuable insights to guide your innovation journey. Benefit from our expertise as you navigate the complex landscape of agriculture and food.

Tailored Support

We provide customized support that addresses your unique needs. Whether you’re at the early stages of development or looking to scale, we offer tailored resources, mentorship, and guidance to accelerate your growth. Our focus is on helping you achieve tangible results and measurable impact.

Access to Funding

Funding is crucial for startup success. Through The Navigator, we connect you with investors who understand the agrifood industry and are actively seeking investment opportunities. Tap into our network of funding sources to secure the capital you need to fuel your growth.

Collaboration Opportunities

The Navigator opens doors to collaboration with research institutions, corporates, and other startups. Explore partnership opportunities, joint projects, and research collaborations that can amplify your impact and accelerate the development of innovative solutions.

How Does it Work?


Client Assessment

We evaluate the needs of startups based on factors such as Technology Readiness Level (TRL), subject matter, and specific requirements through our user-friendly survey platform.

Vetting Process

We meticulously vet companies to ensure their technologies align with the goals and expectations of our stakeholders. This guarantees that our connections are valuable and mutually beneficial.

Meaningful Connections

Once a startup’s request is received at thevine@ucanr.edu, our navigation process begins. We match them with relevant partners, investors, researchers, or customers, leveraging our extensive network.