The next generation of startups to AgXelerate agrifood innovation

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Mimicking thunderstorms, livestock disease detection, Artificial Intelligence (AI) for beekeepers and the world’s first real-time food and fibre verification tool are just some of the exciting innovations selected to participate in the AgriFutures AgXelerate Program.

Announced today, the ten successful startups and scaleups are set to participate in a personalised program designed to support their development, and help them prototype and/or commercialise their innovations for use in levied and emerging industries under AgriFutures Australia’s remit.

As part of the Program, the cohort will participate in workshops, farm tours, and a series of online sessions. In addition, they will also have the opportunity to exhibit in Startup Alley at evokeAG.  2024 in Perth, Western Australia on 20-21 February 2024.

AgriFutures General Manger, Global Innovation Networks, Harriet Mellish said the Program will bring brilliant ideas onto the global stage and further the development and adoption of world class technology for AgriFutures levied and emerging industries.

“Each company has a creative idea, product or service that we want to help nurture, and ensure our levied and emerging industries have access to. Some of these companies already have fit for purpose solutions for these industries, while others taking part in the program to establish if its innovation has market fit for agriculture and these industries,” Ms Mellish said.

“This years’ cohort includes companies spanning from Australia to the United States and have broad areas of focus, from simulated rainfall for crop productivity to proactive animal health technology.

“Through the AgriFutures AgXelerate Program, we are excited to help these companies continue to grow by fostering relationships with industry and investors, and in some cases, to kick start their engagement with specific industries.

“These companies have great potential to help the agrifood sector find solutions to address complex challenges for Australian agriculture, and we look forward to helping them on this journey.”

Companies selected in the AgriFutures AgXelerate Program include:

Thoroughbred Horses 

  • Breedr: provides modern and paperless stallion booking alternatives (NSW)
  • Protequus: is a biomedical engineering firm working to protect the welfare of animals through advances in AI, biosensors, and IoT connectivity creating a smart halter for horses (USA)
  • VetChip: is dedicated to improving animal health and welfare through pioneering technology, proactive monitoring systems, data analytics, and disease detection (WA)
  • Wrkplace: provides digital software and consulting services for the Thoroughbred industry (SA)

Export Fodder 

  • EXTAG: leading provider of Smart Asset Management systems is looking to develop their technology traditionally serving the mining sector for agriculture (WA)

Honey Bee and Pollination

  • Boost AI: in the early stage of their technology development, they will use AI and machine learning to help assist the needs of beekeepers and other producers (NSW)
  • LB Agtech: has developed BeeSTAR to authenticate the value of honey and monitor the location of hives in real-time based on global coverage connectivity and an in-house developed Hive Health Matrix (VIC)

Rice

  • Rainstick: mimics the effects of thunderstorms to grow plants faster, bigger and more sustainably through the use of first nations knowledge of bioelectricity (QLD)
  • Yarta: is creating a central ‘brain’ for farmers by providing research and news to farmers as actionable and targeted insights through an AI platform (NSW)

Multiple industries 

  • Zondii: uses patented multispectral technology to deliver the world’s first real-time food and fibre verification tool (NSW)

The AgXelerate Program kicks off on Tuesday, 29 August with a workshop in Wagga Wagga, NSW which has been curated for the specific needs of the selected startups. This will be followed by a day of farm field trips to connect with producers.

Part two of the program will be a tailored online capacity-building program, including sessions with a range of industry experts and mentors on topics such as funding, business models and adoption.

Part three will take participants on further field trips and workshops culminating in their attendance at evokeAG. 2024 in Perth on 20-21 February, allowing them to showcase their innovation to potential customers and investors in Startup Alley.

ENDS

Media Notes

About AgriFutures AgXelerate

AgriFutures AgXelerate Program is a new program which has evolved from the evokeAG. Startup Network Program. It is specifically designed to cultivate the networks and capabilities of agrifood tech and innovation startups, both domestically and internationally, with the aim of supporting the adoption of new technologies on farms or in the supply chain for AgriFutures levied and emerging industries.
AgriFutures is seeking existing solutions and technologies for these industries, as well as existing technologies from another industry or sector or early-stage technologies that could address one or more of these industries’ priorities.

The program will have two distinct cohorts (running simultaneously), targeting startups and scale ups at different stages of technological readiness:
(1) Cohort one – Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 1-5
(2) Cohort two – TRL 5-9.

This comprehensive approach seeks to ensure that startups and scaleups at various stages of development can benefit from tailored support and guidance.

Participants in the AgXelerate Program will:

  • Connect with producers through field trips and industry engagements, fostering invaluable connections and insights.
  • Participate in a four-week capacity building program, customised to meet the unique needs of each participating company, will equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary for success.
  • Receive a place in evokeAG. Startup Alley in Perth 2024.
  • As an AgXelerate Alumni, participants will have access to exclusive industry showcases and events, maximising their exposure and facilitating future collaborations.

Upon completion of the program, participants will have the chance to submit proposals for funding opportunities of up to $25,000. This funding is intended to be used for on-farm trials, in the identified levied or emerging industry allowing startups or scaleups to further validate and refine their innovations.

Learn more about AgXelerate

About evokeAG.

evokeAG. 2024 is powered by AgriFutures Australia and funded by the Australian Government, Platinum Partner Elders, and Host City Partner the Government of Western Australia.

AgriFutures evokeAG. connects the agrifood innovation community across the Asia Pacific and around the world. We do this by providing a digital platform and a premier agrifood tech event where farmers share their experiences, startups pitch their potential, scientists showcase their discoveries, global business leaders share their insights and industry experts debate their opinions.

The event, which continues to grow year-on-year, will take place at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on 20 – 21 February 2024.

The 2024 evokeAG. theme, Exceptional Edge, represents a relentless pursuit of innovation within the ag sector and across the Asia-Pacific region at a critical juncture for the sector. The event will showcase cutting-edge technologies, disruptive business models, research and development, and sustainable practices with the potential to transform the future of the agriculture sector and value chain.

Tickets are on sale now – AgriFutures Australia is encouraging delegates to secure their tickets, flights and accommodation early to avoid disappointment.

Learn more about evokeAG.

Media enquiries:

Reagan Ruppell
Dentsu Creative
0426 134 739
reagan.ruppell@dentsu.com  

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