Victoria agtech entrepreneurs to benefit from partnership

Sheep Central, September 8, 2021

AGTECH entrepreneurs and start-ups will be supported by the launch of a new partnership between Agriculture Victoria and start-up agency LaunchVic.

The partnership between the Victorian Government and its start-up agency LaunchVic aims to support the development and adoption of new technology that can help improve farm productivity and grow our agriculture industries.

Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas launched the $2.2 million Victorian AgTech Entrepreneurs Initiative today.

This initiative will provide eligible organisations with grants of up to $600,000 to run pre-accelerator programs which provide support for early-stage startup founders who need help developing their product, honing their business model and connecting with investors.

Victoria’s AgTech sector will be further strengthened by a series of regional events to connect industry, farmers, researchers and aspiring founders at each of Agriculture Victoria’s regional SmartFarms.

The initiative is part of the $15 million AgTech Regional Innovation Network funded through the Victorian Government’s 10-year Agriculture Strategy and will deliver on the commitment to modernise Victorian agriculture by boosting investment, innovation and future skills.

It will also support broader Government programs including the Victorian Startup Capital Fund, which works to enhance Victoria’s venture capital sector, stimulate jobs and boost innovation.

Eligible organisations with the capability to run a Victorian AgTech pre-accelerator program are encouraged to apply now for this initiative. Applications close on 27 October 2021.

Ms Thomas said accelerating the growth of Victoria’s AgTech startups will create jobs and growth, as well as opportunities for the state’s farmers to use cutting-edge tools, data and technology, which will drive efficiency, productivity and sustainability.

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

Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said the government is supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs to break into AgTech, “because we know our start-up companies create high-value jobs for Victorians across the state.”

LaunchVic CEO Kate Cornick said the partnership is exciting and logical.

“We know we have great startups in Victoria, and we also know we are one of the largest food bowls of the country – building on the innovation in the sector makes perfect sense.”

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