AgriStart event showcases the buzz in WA’s Agtech and Regional Innovation sector
Late stage start-ups driving innovation within the Australian agtech sector had the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a packed out venue last week as part of AgriStart’s HARVEST Agtech and Regional Innovation Showcase.
Highlighting WA’s growing strength and innovation in agtech, premium food and aquaculture industries, the showcase featured the state’s best ideas, products and services including hemp technology, precision farming, data aggregation, IoT devices, as well as new and emerging industries such as camel milk production.
With the world facing growing issues around food supply, sustainability and security, WA agtech companies have a real and immediate opportunity for national and global application and impact. The keynote speaker from the US, Agthentic Managing Director, Sarah Nolet, said Australia needs to continue to leverage our strong agricultural industry to compete globally in agtech.
“Australia has a strong agricultural base, (with) tonnes of knowledge and expertise, world-class research and development, productivity growth that is outpacing the US. We are known for our agriculture around the world and we can use this knowledge, our strength in R&D, our commitment to strong science and research to build a great agtech sector here in Australia,” she said.
Supporting Australian start-ups to scale, attract capital and solve critical problems is key to putting Australia on the map globally for agtech, Ms Nolet said.
The WA Agtech and Regional Innovation showcase was the final event in the AgriStart HARVEST 2.0 Accelerator Program, and all companies pitching were recent graduates of the program, which was supported by Premium Partners Meat and Livestock Australia and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
AgriStart Managing Director, Dr Natasha Ayers said “The HARVEST cohort included a diverse range of businesses, from high tech to value add produce. They included some of WA’s best up and coming agtech start-ups who are working on some exciting innovations that will make a big difference on-farm.
Participants were also in the running for prizes, based on performance throughout the accelerator and potential future growth. Prize winners were selected by a judging panel and announced by Liam O’Connell from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
HARVEST 2.0 Prize Winners:
1. Agtech Investor Ready Prize, sponsored by DPIRD: Livestock Pricing (Rob Kelly), up to $1500 towards registration and airfares to Melbourne for the Evoke Ag Conference.
2. Regional Innovation Prize sponsored by Liberty: WA Pure Honey (Matt Colvin), 10 weeks free coworking desk at Liberty office space in CBD or Burswood.
3. Export Award sponsored by Triangle Equity Partner: Latitude 28 (James Williamson), consulting support for export market entry and investor readiness, with a focus on China.
4. Business growth award, sponsored by AgWorld and Hopgood Ganim: Stratus Imaging (Jonathon Smith), 3 hours Leadership development coaching, 2 hours Corporate legal services.
The HARVEST Accelerator Program supported 24 businesses across 3 programs in 2018. The programs focus on late-stage start-ups and SMEs looking to scale their business, attract investment, develop new networks and partnerships or explore new export markets. The program is free for participants and is generously supported by MLA, DPIRD, CSBP, Muresk Institute, Wheatbelt Development Commission, Atomic Sky, Fugro, Agworld, Triangle Equity Partners, Wrays, Liberty, Deloitte, UWA and Gemstar.
See a photo gallery of the event and video of the pitches on the AgriStart website:
If you are interested in participating in the next HARVEST Accelerator Program, see https://www.agristart.com.au/harvest-accelerator-program/