Co-founders Elias Cabrera and Jim Cogan have launched a new company in Paso Robles, 805 AgTech Ventures. 805AgTech is a technology incubator/accelerator focused on building and investing in companies that provide solutions for the problems faced by today’s farmers. 805AgTech offers a range of support to technology companies, but prioritizes customer development strategies. 

The two met on a Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce-sponsored trip to Silicon Valley that Cogan helped organize in the Fall of 2018. 

“Elias stated a simple and profound vision the first time we spoke,” Cogan recalled. “He said, ‘I want to make Paso Robles the agtech hub of California!’” The two feel that AgTech is the future of Paso Robles. It marries the region’s strong agrarian heritage with the jobs of tomorrow in a way that is uniquely Paso. 

The trip to visit Cogan’s colleagues at Facebook, LinkedIn and Menlo Park tech incubator BootUp Ventures helped lay the groundwork for a vision of connecting Silicon Valley tech startups with agricultural customers. Cogan and Cabrera enjoyed an immediate rapport. “After 20 years in Silicon Valley, Jim has an amazing network of technology professionals and we are leveraging that network to apply existing technology solutions to the problems faced by growers of all sizes,” explained Cabrera. 

Cabrera has founded two other successful companies and is currently the CEO of Acre, an agtech company that provides farm management software to modern farmers. He has worked for years to develop a strong customer base of farmers who embrace technology. 805AgTech will help incubate similar companies with a goal of diversifying Paso’s employment base and providing new opportunities for Roblans. 

“I have already learned so much from Elias,” Cogan said. “He really understands the challenges of modern agriculture and can see solutions like no one I have ever met. In a casual conversation with entrepreneurs, he will come up with a number of ways their technology can be applied to a problem growers experience.” 

Cogan explained why they chose Paso Robles.

“One of the great agtech promoting differentiators that Paso enjoys is our existing hospitality industry and the desirability of the area as a vacation destination,” he said. “Where better to connect entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and modern growers than someplace they all already want to be? Where better than Paso Robles?”