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AgriFutures evokeAG. Startup Network applications open

Innovative and scalable agritech solutions will be key for early-stage startups looking to score a place in the next round of the AgriFutures evokeAG. Startup Network Program. Applications are now open for six successful founders ready to connect with growers, trial technology on-farm, and scale into new markets.

evokeAG. Startup Program 2021 participant and Founder of IoT solutions company Farmo, Nick Seymour (pictured left) holding his water monitoring device. The Water Rat is now being used by many farmers, like sheep and cattle producer, James Young (pictured right) from Cavendish, Victoria. Photo by A2 Media.

evokeAG. and AgriStart broke new ground when they teamed up in 2021 to deliver the evokeAG. Startup Network, an educational program focused on deepening the connections between Australian agritech startups and growers to support the adoption of on-farm technologies. Connecting early-stage agritech startups with growers to co-design solutions that build customer networks and the collective capacity of the agricultural community, is the core focus.

Applications are now open for the next round of the evokeAG. Startup Network Program and close Friday, 6 May 2022.

Program delivery partner, AgriStart Managing Director, Dr Tash Teakle said after a competitive process, up to six companies will be selected to join the evokeAG. Startup Network 2022 cohort.

“It is a national program and the selection panel will be looking for founders who can clearly articulate what the problem is they’re aiming to solve, have a clear path-to-market, and have a solution that is scalable. We are looking for scalability and innovation.”

The program includes mentorship from industry experts, a face-to-face kick off bootcamp in Sydney along with innovation tours, several interactive masterclass webinars, pitch craft and technology adoption workshops in regional Australia, and culminates in curated pitching opportunities for each founder across the country.

The successful founders will also attend the invitation-only evokeAG. Investor Dinner – a unique opportunity to meet investors and learn from Series A startups on how to secure capital.

Eligible applicants must:

  • Have a business registered in Australia
  • Have an agrifood innovation that is providing a solution to on-farm challenges
  • Have a product ready for a farmer to trial on-farm
  • Demonstrated traction relevant to business age.

Rubens Technologies fruit

Rubens Technologies, an evokeAG Startup Program 2021 participant, is empowering fruit farmers to fetch the top dollar for their products, using its AI prediction technology to test fruit quality. Photo by A2 Media.

A tailored program designed to nurture startups

Delivering value for agritech startups in the wake of the pandemic has been an ongoing priority and what led to the development of the evokeAG. Startup Network.

Dallas Pearce, evokeAG. Startup Manager said, “We wanted to keep the momentum going, to keep facilitating connections for startups, and ensuring founders were connecting with growers because there weren’t a lot of programs out there supporting early-stage startups, that really needed that validation from farmers.”

“We have all this great technology developed in Australia and overseas, but if it’s not actually being used and adopted on-farm or if farmers aren’t being consulted in that development process, then there’s a real gap in understanding the problem from the users’ perspective. So that’s why the program was developed last year.”

Maximising the outcomes and overall experience for participants is a key priority, Dallas explained that’s been achieved through the curation of a highly tailored program. “We ask founders what they want and we deliver on that.”

“This is not a cookie-cutter program – it’s really curated for what the startups need.”

  • Interested in applying? Find more information here.

Helping startups define their value proposition

“The program is fantastic and participants will definitely benefit from the opportunities to make connections and really understand their value proposition, from the farmer’s perspective. These are intangible aspects of the Startup Network, which are priceless,” said Tash.

“For founders it is quite a lonely journey starting up your own business. Getting the opportunity to connect with like minded people running their own businesses and realise that everyone faces the same problems, is one of those intangible benefits that the program offers.”

Agritech founder reaps rewards of program

Since participating in the evokeAG. Startup Network 2021 program, Lucy Anderton, Founder of Western Australian agribusiness farm management tool, myFARMSMART has received welcome inquiries from a grower group in New South Wales, eager to learn more about her solution.

This recognition is a big win for Lucy, and a key step in expanding her customer network across the country. “Just being chosen to be involved with the program was a great feeling – an endorsement that what you’re doing is credible,” said Lucy.

“The ongoing networking and the professional development provided by the program was really high quality and understanding how other founders have done it, and what issues they have had, was really valuable.”

“Being able to discuss what you’re doing and to learn how to pitch, learn how to promote yourself, market yourself, and just being in that environment talking with people who are going through similar situations, is really beneficial.”

“As founders we get busy in our own bubble. Being part of the evokeAG. Startup Network gets you out of your own bubble, and actually looking outside your bubble. That I think is really valuable.”

If you’re an early-adopter grower interested in participating in the evokeAG. Startup Network as a grower mentor, please express your interest here. For founders seeking further information on applications, visit our web page here, register for our webinar on Wednesday, 27 April 2022 here or please contact evokeAG Startup Manager, Dallas Pearce via email here, or phone +61 427 824 218 before Friday, 6 May 2022.


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