LaunchVic launches AgTech funding to plant seeds of entrepreneurship

Dr Kate Cornick, Chief Executive Officer at LaunchVic

LaunchVic, Victoria’s startup agency announced a new funding round for pre-Accelerator programs focused on AgTech. The grant round is a flagship initiative of Agriculture Entrepreneurs which is LaunchVic’s new $2.2 million partnership with Agriculture Victoria.

Why is LaunchVic launching AgTech funding?

AgTech uses digital technology to provide the industry with tools, data and knowledge to make more informed and timely on-farm decisions to improve productivity and sustainability.

Dr Kate Cornick said that while Victoria is Australia’s largest agriculture producer, with a reputation as the nation’s food bowl, the state’s AgTech sector remains underdeveloped.

“Research by LaunchVic to inform future work in this space found there were less than 40 AgTech startups in Victoria with 80% of these based in Melbourne.”

“For comparison, there are more than two thousand active startups in the state of Victoria, of which four hundred are focused on HealthTech,” Dr Kate Cornick said.

Details of LaunchVic’s launch of AgTech funding

Grants of up to $600,000 are now available to run pre-accelerator programs that provide the support, mentorship and networks needed to turn an idea into a viable startup.

Pre-accelerator programs support early-stage high potential entrepreneurs to launch and grow startups, which in turn increases the number of quality startups in our ecosystem.

To ensure more solutions flow back to the sector, startups supported by LaunchVic will come from a range of backgrounds, from farming and agriculture to corporate and deep tech.

Dr Cornick said the three-year partnership would boost the number of Victorian AgTech startups and build entrepreneurial culture and capability in this crucial sector.

“Farmers naturally innovate to adapt to droughts, seasons and now, the pandemic.”

“Pre-accelerator programs translate the farmer’s innovative ingenuity into a framework for success so that big projects and harvests can be harnessed from little things,” she said.

The grants round closes at 10.00 am, Wednesday 27 October 2021.