Sprout Accelerator offering $500,000 to innovators

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Sprout Accelerator is back and looking for registrations from both traditional agritech and future-food focussed start-ups from New Zealand and abroad.

Innovations at all stages of development are encouraged to come forward and work with the Sprout Accelerator.

Eight New Zealand start-ups will be selected to join the six-month accelerator starting in January 2020, the Accelerator offers $75,000 worth of business coaching, mentoring, network access and MBA style block courses held around New Zealand.

The Sprout partners have stepped up to subsidise this for New Zealand’s most promising innovations. Sprout partners include the government’s innovation support agency, Callaghan Innovation, agricultural innovation funder AGMARDT, and a host of New Zealand’s most prominent agribusinesses including Fonterra, Zespri, Gallagher, Livestock Improvement Corporation, PGG Wrightson, Massey University and KPMG.

Entrepreneurs will receive business mentoring and workshops from world-class business owners and directors from across the technology, agricultural and food industries. Upon completion of the accelerator, participants will also have access to an investment pool of $500,000.

Agritech and future-food start-ups have gone through the accelerator since 2015 with alumni raising a total of $11.5m in capital, going on to grow their revenue by 50 per cent and achieve their biggest sales on record at the end of the accelerator.

Arepa, a beverage and brain food company combining nature, food technology and neuroscience, was one of the companies selected to go through the accelerator in 2019. CEO and founder of Arepa, Angus Brown says the accelerator helped him with new ideas for building his business and provided guidance on important decision making.

Angus says the mentors he had access to through the accelerator were really helpful and supportive.

“The mentors and exports I engaged with were great, they backed my thinking and ideas but also challenged me to ensure Arepa was on the right path. They’re passionate about my company and its potential for success which also boosted my confidence,” he says.

Powerplant, a modular plant growing system, was another company that went through the 2019 accelerator. Its founder, Kevin D’Ambros-Smith, says Sprout transformed his business and the team he worked with totally challenged his assumptions and industry knowledge.

“As a result of the learnings we gained in the Sprout Accelerator, we pivoted our business and now have to clear business opportunities we are actively pursuing.

“One of these opportunities came about as a direct result of our Sprout Advisor recommending we talk to a specific company as he saw an opportunity for us to work together and made an introduction for us. This led to a totally new business opportunity for our company.

“The team at Sprout are outstanding, they have a vast range of knowledge and expertise from agritech through to sales and capital raising,” he says.

Registrations for the Accelerator close on November 22. Apply for the 2020 Sprout Accelerator at www.sproutaccelerator.com.




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