AgriFutures AgXelerate Program ignites innovation in agrifood tech – applications now open
From little things big things grow. It's a well proven path for startups and scaleups, and one that AgriFutures Australia is hoping to accelerate for agrifood tech entrepreneurs and innovators through its AgXelerate Program.
Applications are now open to Australian and international agrifood tech startups to join the program. The new program, has evolved from the AgriFutures evokeAG. Startup Network and seeks to identify new technologies to benefit AgriFutures’ levied and emerging industries**, or technologies which could be tailored for use within those industries.
The selected companies will participate in a range of face-to-face farm field trips and workshops, as well as complete a capacity building program designed to support each companies’ individual development and to ensure they are best placed for the successful adoption of this technology pre and post farm gate.
AgriFutures General Manager, Research, John Smith, said the program was all about thinking outside the box.
“We’re taking a very open mind into this, because we know that sometimes the best solutions to problems come from the places you’d least expect,” Mr Smith said.
“The latest innovation in one particular industry could easily come from a technology developed for an entirely different purpose.”
Mr Smith said every industry has its particular challenges to address but some themes in agriculture were universal, such as animal welfare, productivity improvements, biosecurity and resource use efficiency.
“My background is in research, so we tend to think more logically about problems, but people in the startup space often approach issues from another angle and can bring a different perspective.
“It’s all about identifying the people with the creative ideas and helping nurture them along their journey – no matter how small-scale their company might be at the moment.”
The AgXelerate Program will kick off in late-August with a workshop program curated around the specific needs of the selected startups, followed by a day of farm field trips to connect with producers. Part two of the program will be a tailored online capacity-building program, including sessions with a range of industry experts and mentors on topics such as funding, business models and adoption.
Part three will take participants on further field trips and workshops culminating in attendance at evokeAG. 2024 in Perth on February 20-21, allowing them to showcase their innovation to potential customers and investors in Startup Alley.
For more information on the AgriFutures AgXelerate Program, including details of the levied and emerging industries and priorities, head to the AgriFutures website. Applications close at 5.00pm AEST on Monday, 24 July 2023.
* About AgriFutures AgXelerate
AgriFutures AgXelerate Program is a new program which has evolved from the evokeAG. Startup Network Program. It is specifically designed to cultivate the networks and capabilities of agrifood tech and innovation startups, both domestically and internationally, with the aim of supporting the adoption of new technologies on farms or in the supply chain for AgriFutures levied and emerging industries.
AgriFutures is seeking existing solutions and technologies for these industries, as well as existing technologies from another industry or sector or early-stage technologies that could address one or more of these industries’ priorities.
The program will have two distinct cohorts (running simultaneously), targeting startups at different stages of technological readiness:
(1) Cohort one – Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 1-5
(2) Cohort two – TRL 5-9.
This comprehensive approach seeks to ensure that startups at various stages of development can benefit from tailored support and guidance.
Participants in the AgXelerate Program will:
- Connect with producers through field trips and industry engagements, fostering invaluable connections and insights.
- Participate in a four-week capacity building program, customised to meet the unique needs of each participating company, will equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary for success.
- Receive a “golden ticket” for the evoke Startup Alley in Perth 2024.
- As an AgXelerate alumni participants will have access to exclusive industry showcases and events, maximising their exposure and facilitating future collaborations.
Upon completion of the program, participants will have the chance to submit proposals for funding opportunities of up to $25,000. This funding is intended to be used for on-farm trials, allowing startups to further validate and refine their innovations.
Applications are now open and will close on Monday, 24 July at 5.00pm AEST. More info is available on the AgriFutures Australia website.