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New places open for the next big ideas in agtech

20 Oct 2022

Applications are now open for the next round of Victoria’s AgTech Seeds program.

Applications are now open for the next round of Victoria’s AgTech Seeds program.

There are just 12 positions available in the fully funded program which supports founders, entrepreneurs, farmers, inventors and researchers to develop solutions to some of agriculture’s most pressing challenges.

AgTech Seeds is run by Rocket Seeder, Australia’s preeminent non-profit program for agriculture and food production.

Rocket Seeder Managing Director Emma Coath said the program has been created specifically to help people who have ideas but aren’t sure how to take the next steps to creating a viable, profitable enterprise. At the same time, it helps researchers, opening doors to commercialise their research work.

“We know people with great ideas might not necessarily know how to transform their vision into reality,” Ms Coath said. “The AgTech Seeds program supports people right at the start of their journey, to help them take those important first steps with confidence.”

“We’re really keen to bring new skills and resources from outside of the sector, including researchers and entrepreneurs from artificial intelligence, IT, engineering, robotics and mining sectors.”

The first cohort of the AgTech Seeds have just completed their three-month program, gaining critical skills in business planning and development, finance, marketing and communications and developing exceptional contacts throughout the industry.

“Most of the participants have made a significant amount of progress since the beginning of the program,” Ms Coath said.

“The confidence in their ideas is noticeably stronger and we are really looking forward to seeing these startups grow their ideas into successful businesses.”

The AgTech Seeds program is supported by LaunchVic and Agriculture Victoria and is being delivered in partnership with Cruxes Innovation, which works with Australian researchers to help them develop skills to build deep, sustained partnerships with industry and government to solve real-world problems.

AgTech employs technology to provide the agricultural industry with the tools, data and knowledge required to make more informed and timely decisions to improve productivity and sustainability.

Areas of application include plant or animal science, crop protection and input management, precision agriculture, indoor agriculture, sensors and smart farm equipment, imagery, animal technologies, processing and packaging, supply chain and hardware.

“At the end of the program, teams will also have the opportunity to apply for a grant that will assist them to take their business a step further,” Ms Coath said.

Among the first AgTech Seeds cohort is trio Adam Wang, Ke Ma and Jeff Peng who are developing vertical hydroponic technology with intelligent growth algorithms and IoT sensors.

Ke Ma said the AgTech Seeds program was invaluable for the development of their business, E-Hydroponic, which aims to set new standards for fully controlled agriculture.

“The AgTech Seeds program was really well structured, and the team delivering it was extremely supportive, enthusiastic and professional,” Ms Ma said. “It provided us as founders with the opportunity to learn from really talented people from various sectors in business and agriculture.”

Ms Ma said the program gave her team the chance to review their product.

“We were encouraged to test our assumptions and validate our ideas, which led us to make some changes to our original business plan. It put us in a much better position to produce an improved MVP.”

Ms Ma said the other benefit of the program was the access to the industry.

“The program provided us with a really good platform to build our network,” Ms Ma said. “We got to share our passion and our vision with people from across the agriculture industry, people we wouldn’t have met on our own.”

Applications are now open for AgTech Seeds Round Two which starts in February 2023. Applications must be submitted before 28 November 2022.

For more information contact or visit agtechseeds to apply.

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