Australia is one of the world’s biggest producers and exporters of agricultural products, which is why it is among the biggest and fastest-growing sectors in the country. Said to be currently worth $60 million, the Australian agriculture sector has the potential to grow significantly in the coming years. According to a detailed report by StartupAUS, the said sector can grow into a $100 billion industry come 2030 if it gains continued support from agriculture technology (agtech).
To enable more investments into new and innovative agricultural technologies among start-ups and tech companies, financial services provider Findex has recently partnered with the National Farmers’ Federation to launch an accelerator fund worth $10 million that will support the efforts of these companies to improve the country’s agriculture sector through technology. SproutX is tasked with managing the initiatives under the accelerator fund, which is currently headed by General Manager Sam Trethewey.
The pre-accelerator and full accelerator phases
The initiative is divided into two: a pre-accelerator program and a full accelerator program. The pre-accelerator program, which began in September, was a six-week course that aided start-ups in the development of ideas and concepts that will help commercialise agricultural products, services and businesses. Entrepreneurs who completed the program were given grants and incentives to help them in their venture, and a number of them will have the chance to enter the full acceleration phase of the initiative next year.
The full accelerator program, on the other hand, is slated to be launched in the first quarter of 2017 and will go on for a duration of six months. The program is the main component of the SproutX fund and will involve all of the $10-million venture capital fund. In this phase, investments will be poured into different subcategories under agtech, including Internet-enabled equipment, farm management systems, biomaterials and remote sensors.
The full accelerator phase will provide each of the start-ups who have been chosen, with funding of up to $50,000, exclusive learning provided by Australia’s biggest firms, distribution opportunities from the country’s largest corporations, and six months of free office space.
For those who have missed the pre-accelerator program, SproutX is currently allowing access to their pre-accelerator content, which can be viewed on the SproutX website. There are 12 videos to watch, aside from other content, and can be viewed for free anytime.
Easdowns finds a way for you
Aside from the SproutX agtech fund, there are other funds and grants that help eligible start-ups in the development and commercialisation of their products, services and technologies.
For instance, there is the Entrepreneur’s Programme, which provides funds during the start-up and early expansion of development, both critical phases in the lifecycle of a business. There is also the Austrade Landing Pad, which aims to help start-ups land opportunities for effective distribution of their products and services in the global market.
If you’re interested in securing funds for your start-up but are not sure where to begin, Easdowns can help you find a way. Our experts can make it easier for you to identify the needs of your small business or start-up and help you find a grant or incentive in Australia that is perfect for you!