New frontiers for the Western Australian Agriculture Sector in HARVEST AgTech Accelerator

The AgriStart HARVEST Accelerator program was officially launched by Hon Alannah MacTiernan, Minister for Regional Development and Agriculture and Food, on Friday 23 February 2018, with nine Western Australian companies selected for the first cohort.

From edible crickets and big data, to aerial surveying and wind turbine technology Western Australia’s most innovative small businesses in the agribusiness sector will receive opportunities for global growth and develophigh level business skills over nine weeks of intensive mentoring and workshops.  

Supporting late-stage start-ups and SMEs looking to scale their businesses, AgriStart’s HARVEST program includes more than 40 industry experts from local and global businesses.  Itcovers topics such as strategic expansion planning, export pathways, applying new technologies, investor readiness, pitch coaching, media training and concludes with a pitch day to a large group of capital investment companies.  

Minister MacTiernan said that in addition to the traditional agricultural research on soil and plant biology, agtech development and applying new technologies are critical for the Western Austalia’s competitiveness and productivity in this industry.

“We are really excited about this project and the ability for us to provide people in this post startup stage a real boost to their business which is fundamentally allowing farmers to take advantage of modern technology to farm better and to farm smarter,” she said.

WA Chief Scientist Peter Klinken when opening the HARVEST launch event said it was essential for the WA agricultural industry to stay one step ahead of international competitors by taking seriously the investment into the development and innovation within the industry.

“Something like the Harvest accelerator makes an old fossil like me excited. Let’s make sure we don’t sit on our hands and watch everyone else go past us. We don’t want future generations to wonder what we did when we had the opportunity. We want them to think ‘They did a good job,” he said.

HARVEST participant and Scientific Aerospace Managing Director Geoff Trowbridge said, “We look forward to participating, collaborating and connecting with others looking to use our technology to solve problems across the agricultural and marine sectors.”

The first HARVEST cohort are: Convergio, GeoMoby, Grubs Up, MALDIID, Mapizy, P&A Pan, Precision Agronomics, Scientific Aerospace and Bohr Industries.

AgriStart Pty Ltd facilitates innovation and commercialisation support for researchers and businesses working in food and agriculture related industries. AgriStart is currently delivering a series of regional agribusiness innovation workshops and the HARVEST agtech accelerator program.  More information can be found at www.agristart.com.au/harvest-accelerator-program or contact  info@agristart.com.au 

Sarah Gray