LaunchVic allocates $1.8m for agtech pre-accelerators


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 23 February, 2022

LaunchVic allocates $1.8m for agtech pre-accelerators

The Victorian Government has allocated $1.8 million in funding to help support three new entrepreneurship programs aimed at developing the next big innovations in the emerging agricultural technology (agtech) sector.

Farmers2Founders, Rocket Seeder and SproutX will each receive $600,000 from LaunchVic to run pre-accelerator programs designed to support nearly 500 innovative farmers and aspiring startup founders.

Farmers2Founders will use the funding to support its Hatch Ideas pre-accelerator. Rocket Seeder will use it for its AgTech Seeds program, which is designed to bridge the gap between agricultural research and the industry.

Meanwhile, SproutX will team up with the University of Melbourne to run the Business of Agriculture, a new program designed to support non-traditional participants in Victoria’s startup ecosystem, including farmers or regional Victorian high school graduates.

The funding forms the bulk of the $2.2 million Victorian AgTech Engineers Initiative, a joint initiative of the Victorian Government’s LaunchVic and Agriculture Victoria.

LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said the initiative is designed to attract more innovators to the agriculture sector, 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 startups active across the state,” she 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 startups.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Jakub Jirsák

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