LaunchVic’s $1.8m funding seeks to hatch AgTech’s next big ideas

Dr. Kate Cornick, Chief Executive Officer of LaunchVic

Close to 500 innovative farmers and aspiring startups are set to break into the AgTech sector, with three new entrepreneurship programs funded by LaunchVic and Agriculture Victoria.

Farmers2Founders, Rocket Seeder and SproutX will each receive $600k to run pre-accelerator programs, which equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills to turn ideas into business.

LaunchVic initiative to solve agriculture challenges

Farmers2Founders will run their Hatch Ideas Pre-Accelerator and an Online Journey Starter Program that can reach founders in any pocket of regional Victoria, among other initiatives.

Impact-focused provider Rocket Seeder will assemble teams of entrepreneurs and researchers to solve some of regional Victoria’s biggest challenges with their new AgTech Seeds Pre-Accelerator Program, bridging the gap between the agricultural industry and research.

SproutX will join forces with The University of Melbourne to take aspiring founders through The Business of Agriculture, a new program designed to support non-traditional participants in Victoria’s startup ecosystem, like farmers or regional Victorian high school graduates.

LaunchVic in strategic partnerships to boost agriculture

The $600,000 grants are part of the Victorian AgTech Entrepreneurs Initiative LaunchVic’s $2.2 million partnership with Agriculture Victoria announced in September 2021.

LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said, “The initiative was designed to help scale existing on-farm ideas and draw more innovators to agriculture, one of the states’ largest export sectors.”

“Victoria is Australia’s largest agriculture producer by value, but our research shows the AgTech sector remains small and underdeveloped, with less than 40 startups in the state.”

“LaunchVic wants to see this change and we’re backing pre-accelerator programs that support the agriculture sector with big ideas and entrepreneurs to launch and grow startups.”

“This increases startups in our state, provides a source of income for farmers and creates new technology that improves productivity and sustainability in one of our vital industries.”