LaunchVic and Agriculture Victoria have awarded grants to three entrepreneurship programs in the AgTech sector that are designed to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills to turn an idea into a business. Grants of $600,000 each were given to the following start-ups and their respective pre-accelerator programs:
- Farmers2Founders, a specialist agrifood tech service provider, will run their Hatch Ideas Pre-Accelerator and a self-paced Online Journey Starter Program that can reach founders throughout regional Victoria, among other initiatives.
- Impact-focused provider Rocket Seeder will assemble entrepreneurs and researchers to solve some of regional Victoria’s biggest challenges with their AgTech Seeds Pre-Accelerator Program, while also bridging the gap between the agricultural industry and research.
- SproutX will be launching The Business of Agriculture, in partnership with the University of Melbourne to support non-traditional participants in Victoria’s start-up ecosystem, including farmers or regional Victorian high school graduates.
The grants were awarded as part of the $2.2 million Victorian AgTech Entrepreneurs Initiative, first announced by LaunchVic and Agriculture Victoria last September, that aims to help scale existing on-farm ideas and attract more innovators to agriculture – one of the state’s largest export sectors.
“Victoria is Australia’s largest agriculture producer by value, but our research shows the AgTech sector remains small and underdeveloped, with less than 40 AgTech start-ups active across the state,” LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said.
“LaunchVic wants to see these numbers change, so we’re backing pre-accelerator programs that support people in the agriculture sector with big ideas and early-stage entrepreneurs who want to launch and grow start-ups,” Dr Cornick added. “Not only does this increase the number of start-ups in our state, it can provide a new source of income for farmers and create new technology that improves productivity and sustainability in one of our most important industries.”
Those interested in taking part in the pre-accelerator programs can sign up for a free Information Session run by LaunchVic here.
This story originally appeared in our sister publication, Inside Small Business.