AGMARDT is a committed investment partner of Sprout Agritech, New Zealand’s world leading agri/food-tech accelerator and early-stage investor.
Sprout is all about growing New Zealand’s capability for commercialising science and technology to accelerate a better future for food and fibres. It does this through providing start-ups that are committed to solving problems across the food value chain access to seamless growth and opportunity.
Sprout also provides opportunities for industry partners to collaborate with new agri/food-tech ventures and build their own innovation skills.
With the increasing number and calibre of start-ups wanting access to the accelerator, in 2021 AGMARDT increased our investment as part of supporting Sprout to increase its intake. For the first time in 2021, Sprout has taken on two individual cohorts, with a total of 21 companies spread across the year.
“This is a huge and exciting effort and AGMARDT is a big part of it,” says Sprout CEO Gil Meron.
“AGMARDT brings much more than money. It brings invaluable insight, experience and vision to the table. Together we can work to build businesses from raw opportunities. Sprout is a great way to test entrepreneurs, to see if their aspirations are high enough, and identify any gaps in their vision and execution.”
A great example is Sprout alumni Scentian Bio, a company spun out of Plant & Food Research that is commercialising technology harnessing the powerful smell receptors from insects to deliver a sensor solution – with multiple applications in product development and production.
Through Sprout, Scentian Bio has raised $1 million in capital and secured a partnership with US-based tech-bio infrastructure company Cardea Bio.
Since 2015, multiple start-ups have benefited from the accelerator, gaining access to local, national and international capital, mentoring and expertise whilst providing opportunities for industry partners to collaborate with new agri/food tech ventures and to broaden their own innovation skills.
Another is Ārepa, Auckland based ‘smart drink’ manufacturer that has signed a distribution deal with Coles supermarket in Australia, with revenue predicted to increase from $2 million to $6 million – and looking to raise further capital in 2021.
“When these companies graduate from Sprout, we can direct them to AGMARDT knowing they are good candidates for grants to further advance them and become ‘investment ready’.”
To stimulate companies to move faster, Sprout has become one of Callaghan Innovations four technology incubators and will be able to make 40 x $1 million investments in start-ups over the next seven years.
AGMARDT is proud to support this investment activity as part of Sprout’s partner network including Fonterra, Zespri, Gallagher, LIC, PGG Wrightson, Callaghan Innovation CEDA and recent recruits US-based Finistere Ventures and Israel-based OurCrowd that will help companies to access overseas markets and increase exports.