LaunchVic announces $1.3 million boost for Victoria’s AgTech sector, plus first dedicated Angel network

Dr Kate Cornick, Chief Executive Officer at LaunchVic

Victoria’s burgeoning AgTech sector is set for a $1.3 million boost through a suite of new initiatives from LaunchVic and Agriculture Victoria. Grants of $50,000 are now available to 20 emerging AgTech entrepreneurs looking to take their ideas to the next level this year.

$5,000 of each grant will fund mentoring and business development advice from some of Victoria’s best startup advisors, with the remainder provided as an equity-free grant.

Why is the grant a timely one for the sector?

Consistent with LaunchVic’s strategy to catalyse more early-stage investment in the sector, $300,000 has been allocated for investors to establish a dedicated AgTech angel network – the first of its kind in Victoria. The angel network will deploy crucial early capital to founders and provide a valuable network of mentors, talent and potential customers.

These initiatives provide post-accelerator support and are part of a $2.6m commitment from Agriculture Victoria to 2024, with further initiatives to come later this year. Minister for Agriculture Gayle Tierney said Victoria has all the elements to be a leader in AgTech.

Gayle Tierney, Minister for Agriculture

“With one of the most modern and productive agricultural systems, Victoria is well placed to lead Australia as a powerhouse for AgTech innovation and entrepreneurship,” she said.

What does the initiative mean for LaunchVic?

A LaunchVic report into Victoria’s investment landscape from December found that Victorian Angels are the second most active investors after VCs – a 2.3x increase since 2016 – of which LaunchVic has funded the creation of nine new angel groups in Victoria.

The latest grant rounds further build on the Victorian AgTech Entrepreneurs’ Initiative, LaunchVic’s $2.2 million partnership with Agriculture Victoria announced in September 2021 to fund the delivery of AgTech pre-accelerator services for aspiring entrepreneurs.

LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said the latest initiatives would put equity-free working capital in the hands of Victorian Ag innovators hungry for their next phase of growth. “Then, once these founders are ready to close their first funding raise, we’ll make sure there’s a dedicated angel group invested in their success,” Dr Kate Cornick said.

Investors and startups are invited to apply here.