SproutX, the first agritech accelerator in Australia, has accepted 11 startups into its first cohort. These companies will receive an A$40,000 equity investment from the Melbourne-based program in exchange for an 8% equity stake. The 6-month course focuses on financial modeling, marketing, legal and intellectual property issues distribution partnerships to help startups solve their biggest issue; getting their products into the hands of customers.
Startups will either be based at the accelerator’s co-working space in Melbourne or will be flown in every five weeks for a one-week intensive work session.
SproutX’s unique value proposition is its focus on helping the startups get customers, according to Sam Tretheway, director of the program. Its partnership with RuralCo, Australia’s second largest ag retailer, is one clear way startups can get access to customers, he said, adding that RuralCo can get new products in front of customers in two weeks.
“RuralCo has become one of Australia’s largest agribusinesses, and we are always seeking to improve and grow. Supporting these innovative startups and entrepreneurs with our market leading distribution channels and expertise shows our commitment to help develop our industry,” sais RuralCo CEO Travis Dillon.
Also partnering with SproutX is Findex, a financial services provider to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with 120 locations in Australia and a leading provider to agribusiness. Thomas Paule, chief marketing and digital officer of Findex and board member for SproutX said,
“SproutX will give our farming clients an advantage in business improvement by giving them first access to the technology.“ He continued, “We support SproutX because we believe the agtech sector will push our economy forward over the next 50 years.”
The program will kick off with a “Shark Tank”-style pitch competition, where startups will pitch, and the expected audience of 300 will vote. The eleven startups i...
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