Santa Cruz County’s first Ag-Tech MeetUp sows solutions

An hour away from Silicon Valley, agricultural Watsonville has the makings of a tech hub. Next to its berry and lettuce fields, startups are building robots and mobile apps to aid farmers. Digital NEST, a nonprofit teaching technology to youth, hosted Santa Cruz County’s first Ag-Tech MeetUp, modeled after the popular New Tech MeetUps held monthly in Santa Cruz.

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Tony Hill Award-winner Jacob Martinez founded Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology) in Watsonville, in the hopes of closing the gap between available academic resources and technology know-how. The NEST hopes to create technology centers in vulnerable communities all over California as it has in Watsonville, where the impact has been almost instantaneous.