Thursday, 12 November 2020 12:05

Seed capital investment for start-ups

Written by  Staff Reporters
Sprout Agritech Ltd executive director Dean Tilyard. Sprout Agritech Ltd executive director Dean Tilyard.

Business accelerator Sprout is back for 2021 and is looking for cutting edge start-ups in the agtech and foodtech sectors to register for mentorship and the opportunity for investment. 

Start-ups creating innovative solutions in the food supply chain from pasture through to plate are encouraged to register and between eight and 10 New Zealand start-ups will be selected to join the Sprout Accelerator. 

The accelerator offers $75,000 worth of business coaching, mentoring, network access, underground events and summits held around New Zealand. International start-ups are also invited to apply and if travel restrictions allow, some may be accepted into the accelerator. 

The start-ups will be split into two cohorts for 2021, the first from February until April, and the second from June to August, giving entrepreneurs in the agtech and foodtech sectors two opportunities to register.

Sprout itself has undergone some major changes to their business model this year, maturing into an independent investment company, moving out from solely operating under umbrella company, The Factory. 

While The Factory remains a shareholder in the business, Sprout has also brought new shareholders on board - from New Zealand’s own Fonterra to Israeli equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd and Finistere Ventures, a San Diego-based leading global agricultural technology and life sciences venture capital investor.

Sprout Agritech Ltd executive director Dean Tilyard says the accelerator is at a transition point as it opens the door to further international opportunities with the help of the new investors.

“When we were looking at international investors to bring on board, we were seeking relationships that could provide connections and accelerate our start-ups into global networks. We wanted experienced investors, people who are aligned with Sprout’s vision of building a healthy agtech and foodtech ecosystem in New Zealand and bring their own deep knowledge of these sectors to the table.

“We’re really excited about the investment and network resources we will be able to provide to the 2021 Sprout cohort and we can’t wait to see what these start-ups are capable of with the added support and access to resources,” Dean says. 

Registrations for the Accelerator close on 20th November. Register your interest for the 2021 Sprout Accelerator at www.sproutagritech.com

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