The Entrepreneurs

Sprout offers entrepreneurial accelerator to burgeoning agritech start-ups

  • Written by Danielle Veldre


Australian farm to fork agritech start-ups are being encouraged to come forward for the next cohort of the Sprout Accelerator. 

The Sprout Accelerator benefits agritech & agrifood businesses and entrepreneurs who  have prototypes, proof of concepts or existing revenue but need, extra support to help them grow. 

“We back bold agritech businesses and entrepreneurs who move fast, think big and are committed to building solutions for problems that reach from farm to fork,” Sprout Accelerator co-founder James Bell-Booth said.

 

The six-month accelerator will provide assistance tailored specifically to the successful applicants’ needs, focusing on three key areas that enable scalable growth; high-margin business models, distribution, and execution advice from experienced entrepreneurs.

 

Applications for the 2019 accelerator close on November 23, and 12 agritech start-ups will be selected from Australia and around the world.

Along with access to international business networks, the successful start-ups will also have access to an extensive mentoring program. 

Sprout Accelerator has been operating since 2015 and alumni have gone on to triple their sales, pitch their companies to investors, secure nationwide distribution agreements and see a 300% increase in their customers product yield.                     

Established by Dean Tilyard and James Bell-Booth, Sprout has a team that works alongside an advisory group, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise in agritech and entrepreneurship.

                                                                                                                                    

“Sprout was founded because never before has the world’s food and farming sectors needed more innovation than right now. With the world’s population exploding and farmers needing to do more with less, we wanted to apply our 15 years of experience in turning agritech science and ideas into businesses, to companies all around the world,” Bell-Booth said.

                                                                                                                                   

Steven Ridder, CEO of Teralytics, a New York-based company that is building the world's first wireless NPK soil probe and an analytics platform for best-in-class nutrient management, was recently hosted by Sprout and is a supporter of the accelerator. 

“Being hosted by Sprout gave me insight into how many parts of international agri sectors work, with direct connection to the people that would otherwise have taken me months to find and connect with. Sprout offers true acceleration on a new level that money alone can’t buy,” Ridder said. 

Micropod, an agritech company that produces self-sustainable fresh microgreens, was one of the companies selected for the 2018 accelerator. Founder and CEO Jeffrey Xu says Sprout provided his team the tools they required to become great entrepreneurs and business people. 

“The team of experts we worked with were very genuine and offered candid real-world advice. They made sure we were hitting our milestones and held us accountable. Sprout’s network in the industry is second to none and really opened up many doors for us. We have learned more about start-ups and about ourselves in the past six months than in an entire year before joining Sprout,” Xu said. 

App​ly for the 2019 Sprout Accelerator at https://sproutagritech.com/


The specific primary production areas covered in Sprout’s definition of agritech include: 

  • Agriculture 
  • Horticulture 
  • Forestry
  • Pipfruit 
  • Viticulture
    ● Aquaculture 

 

The most common technology areas that are being utilised to create quantum improvements and therefore large scale business opportunities are: 

  •  The use of sensors and ‘internet of things’ or precision agricultural 
  •  Robotics and automation 
  •  Biotechnology 
  •  Software 
  •  UAVs, their supporting software, hardware and sensing technology 
  •  Big data 
  •  Supply chain and logistics software 


Sprout is being supported and funded by a mix of public and private sector leaders in agritech and start-up investment, including Callaghan Innovation, Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), Massey University, Gallagher Group, Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA), Fonterra, AGMARDT and KPMG. 

The Sprout accelerator was designed by The Factory, a New Zealand-based business incubator. Over the last two years The Factory has helped establish four globally focused agritech start-ups; BioLumic, CalfSMART, CropX and Polybatics, which have raised in excess of $15 million in growth capital from global investors. 

 

CASE STUDY - SPROUT ACCELERATOR 2017 KNOWBY

Grant Rogers is a dairy farmer and vet based in Hobart, Tasmania, and is used to fixing things on the fly.

“On a dairy farm, lots of things break, or breakdown,” he says. 

 

“I thought about writing a manual with step-by-step instructions on how to fix the recurring problems and came to the realisation that no one would read it.”

 

Grant needed a solution with a simple and accessible delivery mechanism, like a mobile phone. He knew he had a good idea, but in his own words, Grant is “good at growing grass and tending to animals”, but he wasn’t well versed in building a business from the ground up.

 

Grant applied for the Sprout Accelerator, and his idea for mobile-responsive software to troubleshoot or explain solutions to common issues in a workplace began to take shape.

 

Knowby was born as a software product for manufacturers to equip their sales channels, field teams and end users with easy to use, mobile first, product support and servicing information.

 

“What being in the Sprout Accelerator taught us was how to hone our pitch to investors, how to set up a business and to test ideas. It challenged us, and it gave us confidence too.” 

 

Grant said one of the greatest benefits for his business was the contacts the Accelerator gave him access to as well as the mentorship which has evolved into long-term relationships.


.

Should You Join the DIY Home Improvement…

DIY home improvement has been gaining popularity for the last few years. This is partly because of the readily available information needed to be able to get the job done...

Top movies for any entrepreneur looking …

Sometimes life is said to imitate art and sometimes it is the other way around. Either way, there is an inevitable connection between our business and leisure activities, and never...

ANZ helps small business owners thrive w…

ANZ has teamed with some of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs to launch a podcast series to help those starting or growing their small business. Collab Zone Radio is part...

Five tips for a killer influencer market…

Analise Trotter, head of advocacy at Hoozu Influencer marketing isn’t as simple as choosing an influencer with a hefty following to post an ad for you. There are a multitude of...

2019 HCF Catalyst accelerator program pa…

HCF Chief Executive Officer Sheena Jack HCF driving entrepreneurs to deliver innovative health solutions 2019 HCF Catalyst accelerator program participants announced   HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund has today announced the up-and-coming health...

iGoDirect’s Pat Dalton named as a Victor…

Pioneer of data driven behavioural marketing Named Victorian Telstra Business Woman Finalist iGoDirect’s Pat Dalton has been named as a Victorian state finalist in the 2019 Telstra Business Women Awards. For this...

New online platform, Alifery is leading …

New platform for the legal profession   New online platform, Alifery is leading the legal profession into the future by connecting ASX listed companies, private businesses and law firms with highly...

A ForexCT Review: The Best in the Busine…

The Forex market can be a complicated and complex market, which many average Australians know nothing about. Forex is an abbreviation for foreign exchange and describes trading in the foreign...

OurProperty.com.au Brisbane based propte…

AGENCY LEVEL FRAUD WILL BE ABOLISHED WITH GAME-CHANGING SYSTEM FOR DIRECT PAYMENT OF RENTS FROM THE TENANT TO THE LANDLORD OurProperty.com.au, a Brisbane based proptech start-up will be...

4 Ways To Extend The Shelflife Of Your E…

E-cigarettes are typically powered by batteries that are used to power up the vaporising system. But sometimes they fail to perform up to expectations. Ever notice that your e-cigarette batteries...

How To Choose An E-Liquid Flavour You'll…

With innumerable vape flavours available in the market, it's not easy for anyone to choose – especially those that have just started vaping. You may like a particular flavour, but...

How to Pick the Right Storage Unit to Re…

Storage units are flexible spaces with multiple uses. Their primary function, however, is still the number one reason people choose to rent out these huge containers. Having a storage unit is...

Ideagen set to celebrate a decade of suc…

Ideagen announced that it expects to record its tenth successive year of growth following the publication of its unaudited interim results. The UK-based, global software firm delivered a strong market update...

Advantages of Forex Trading

Many traders in Australia and many other different parts of the world are choosing forex as their major trading market. One of the reasons for choosing forex trading is that...

How Technology has Changed the face of P…

Twenty years may seem like a relatively brief period of time but many industries have been revolutionised across the last two decades. The rise of the digital age, along with...

Where to stay in Perth

Hoping to visit the lovely city of Perth? You will want to have the best background information on where to stay and places to visit, which is why at Fraser's...

How To Find A Good Place To Stay in Sydn…

Sydney is quite a large city and identifying a good place for your stay is challenging, when you pick the wrong place it can break your trip, moreover, Sydney is...

How rejection from Shark Tank grew Peak …

It takes a certain amount of tenacity and belief to start a business. Particularly, one based on a product no one has ever seen before. It takes even more to...

Surprising Customer Service Facts

Customer service is one of the most important pillars of any successful business, but a lot of people still skimp out on it thinking that they can focus on other...

6 Ideal Funding Solutions For Millennial…

When it comes to millennials, we are taken aback by their work ethic. Many millennials would like to be their own boss. This is more than any other generation in...

4 Ways to Make Your Child Stand Out at a…

Helping your child stand out from the competition and make a positive, lasting impression on the casting director should be your top priority whenever your little one is asked to...

HOT DIGITAL TIPS TO TAKE YOUR MARKETING …

Digital marketing strategy has never been more important for brands. In this quickly evolving environment it’s critical for companies and organisations to have a strategy in place that can deliver...

How Does Office Design Affect Productivi…

An office redesign often seems like an unaffordable – and superfluous – luxury.   Maybe you’re just getting off the ground with your business, or perhaps you don’t see the...

Famous Artwork Reproduction Service - S…

Plastic art breaks out and stretches its branches in many more parts than we would have expected. Besides classical painting in watercolor, plastic art is also enriched with drawings in...