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Mobile abattoir takes top gong as SproutX cohort unveiled

A startup looking to bring the abattoir to the farm gate has won top honours when the 2017 SproutX cohort took to the stage to deliver their pitches for the first time.

Eleven ag-tech entrepreneurs awoke to their name in the news this week, with SproutX revealing the line-up of start-ups accepted into its first accelerator program.

SproutX is Australia’s first agtech accelerator and is a partnership between the National Farmers’ Federation, financial services provider Findex, and RuralCo, Australia’s second largest ag retailer.

A highlight of the start-ups first week in the programme was a “Shark Tank”-style pitch competition, held in Melbourne last night. The crowd of 300 agtech enthusiasts were joined by people from across Australia via live broadcast on the Stock and Land website.

After eleven polished (albeit nervous) pitches, the judging panel and crowd were asked to cast their vote - with both the people's choice and judges award going to Farmgate MSU. Farmgate MSU is a team including a farmer, vet, chef and educator looking to disrupt the red meat supply chain by slaughtering cattle on-farm in a mobile abattoir.

SproutX Accelerator Director, Andrew Lai (left) presents the Judges' Award to the Farmgate MSU team

Other pitches included a direct-to-the-consumer flower-selling model, a system to improve irrigation efficiency and new monitoring systems for cattle growth and health tracking. All ideas showcased at these first pitches will now be further developed through the accelerator program.

Each member of the 11-string cohort will receive about $40,000 from SproutX in exchange for an 8% equity stake.

The six-month accelerator program focuses on financial modeling, marketing, legal and intellectual property issues distribution partnerships to help start-ups solve their biggest issue; getting their products into the hands of customers.

Start-ups will either be based at the accelerator’s co-working space in Melbourne or will be flown in every five weeks for a one-week intensive work session.

National Farmers’ Federation President and SproutX Board Member Fiona Simson said the unveiling of the first cohort was a milestone for the company and for Australian agtech in general.

“Under the leadership of SproutX General Manager Sam Trethewey, we have been working towards this day for two years.

“The application of new-technologies to agriculture has the potential to boost productivity and eanr efficiency gains for farmers – and in some industries significantly change the way business is done.”

Ms Simson said the challenge was turning sound ideas into reality.

“SproutX is breaking down these barriers, providing a leg up to start-ups who need mentoring and frankly, a cash injection, to take their idea to the next level.”

Start-ups also gain access to potential follow-on angel and later-stage venture capital funding of up to $1 million through the SproutX Venture Capital Fund.

The fund will provide follow-on funding for chosen start-ups alongside a network of external investors, expediting funding rounds and reducing pressure on start-up founders to spend time away from their core focus of growing their business.

Read on to learn more about each of the start-ups in the 2017 SproutX cohort and their ideas.

AgriLedger

AgriLedger
Agriledger uses a blockchain system to create a marketplace for small farmers in developing countries to buy, sell, and trade produce, creating a digital ledger for a cooperative farming model.

Applant

Applant Applant has created an in-home hydroponic growing system that does not require electricity. It has a user-operated pump to power the unit to grow pesticide-free produce at home.

Bloombox Co

Bloombox Co Bloombox Co sells flowers direct-to-consumer from growers on a subscription model. It claims to reduce waste and improve profitability for the growers.

Farmgate MSU

Farmgate MSU Farmgate MSU is developing an on-farm slaughtering service that incorporates the highest standards of animal welfare, state-of-the-art processing methods, and environmentally sustainable practices.

Farmapp

Farmapp Farmapp has developed an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) software-based service that includes a combination of scouting and fumigation apps with sensors for automated pest management.

IoT Ag Pty Ltd

IoT Ag Pty Ltd IoTAg Pty Ltd has developed a smart cattle ear tag enabling farmers to track cattle movement and monitor for key breeding-related events, as well as alert them to illnesses and births.

OutofBox Solutions

OutofBox Solutions OutofBox Solutions are using AI and machine vision to tackle identification and control of feral animals.

Snaptrap

Snaptrap Snaptrap is developing a “smart trap” for fruit flies that can analyze the problem and suggest interventions in real-time.

thingc

thingc thingc is developing a precision farming application using big data to help farmers grow more efficiently.

TieUp Farming

TieUp Farming TieUp Farming has developed a platform to collate farm data and provide accurate, reliable yield forecasting for the horticulture industry.

Watersave

Water Save Watersave produces an automated farm irrigation solution, which can be monitored remotely.  The company claims to reduce irrigation costs by up to 20%, and the platform is building machine learning capabilities to monitor & reduce the level of chemicals applied to crops

Did you miss the chance to cast your vote? Log in and leave us a comment below with who your crowd favourite would have been.

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1 Responses

    All very worthy. The on-farm slaughtering and the home hydroponics would get my vote..

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