Agtech hub picks first seedlings

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Agtech hub picks first seedlings

SproutX has chosen 11 startups to join its first accelerator program.

Melbourne-based agtech innovation hub SproutX has selected 11 startups from more than 100 applicants for its accelerator program.

The chosen startups include Agriledger, Applant, Bloombox, Farmapp, Hub & Spoke MSU, IoTAg, OutofBox Solutions, Snaptrap, thingc, Tie Up Farming and WaterSave. The startups aim to solve a broad range of agricultural problems by using technologies, including internet-connected sensors, blockchain and hydroponic vertical farming.

Each receives $40,000 in capital, mentoring from industry experts and office space for six months.

They also get opportunities to test and distribute their products nationally through SproutX’s corporate partners, which include Findex and Ruralco.

Further ahead is the prospect of access to potential follow-on angel and later-stage venture capital funding of up to $1 million through the $10 million SproutX Venture Capital Fund, which will also expedite funding rounds, reducing pressure on startup founders to spend time away from their businesses in order to raise capital.

“Our first batch of startups have amazing potential and the SproutX program is designed to help startup teams rapidly accelerate their growth and become world class businesses,” said SproutX accelerator director Andrew Lai.

Caleb Ha, co-founder and CEO of Applant, said: “The chance to grow our startup and gain support from industry leaders like the ones involved in the SproutX accelerator means we are that much closer to making the world aware of our idea and that's invaluable to us.”

Applant is developing the world’s first human-pumped, hydroponic vertical farm for the home. Applant’s prototype invention, the eTree, uses 95 per cent less water than traditional agriculture methods.

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