Start-ups creating innovative solutions in the food supply chain from pasture through to plate are encouraged to register and for the Sprout Accelerator
Between eight and 10 New Zealand start-ups will be selected to join.
The accelerator offers $75,000 worth of business coaching, mentoring, network access, underground events and summits held around New Zealand.
International start-ups are also invited to apply and, if travel restrictions allow, some may be accepted into the accelerator.
The start-ups will be split into two cohorts for 2021, the first from February until April, and the second from June to August, giving entrepreneurs in the agtech and foodtech sectors two opportunities to register.
For the first time, companies accepted into the accelerator with a higher investment proposition will be given the chance to receive additional investment directly from Sprout.
Companies who are at seed stage with less than $1 million in revenue will be considered for investment by Sprout.
Agtech and foodtech start-ups have benefitted from the accelerator since 2015 with alumni raising a total of $15 million in capital, going on to grow their revenue by 400 per cent and raising USD$1.35 million in seed round capital.
Greg Peyroux, managing director and co-founder of artificial intelligence and machine learning specialist Iris Data Science completed the Sprout Accelerator in August 2020 and found the experience invaluable.
Dunedin-based Iris Data Science creates innovative products, providing services for the agricultural and horticultural sectors and is the creator of the world's first sheep facial recognition software SheepNN.
"From the accelerator, I learnt to leave no stone unturned when it comes to discovering and understanding your customers and your market. Learning about the investment process was also highly valuable. The mentors were fantastic - with their support we worked out what market to consider and the actions to take to attract investment."
"Gaining access to the accelerator's partner and broader network has also been invaluable. We are now actively developing prototypes and setting up multiple pilots on farms around the country," Peyroux said.
Oxana Krutilina, co-founder and chief executive of Auckland-based Sea Swell, a plant-based seafood product alternative designed to help boost the ocean's depleting fish population, said she owed everything to the Sprout Accelerator.
"I went into the accelerator with just an idea and passion behind me, and the mentors have helped me create a strong business model. Everything I have achieved with Sea Swell is because of the Sprout Accelerator - I learned everything from them."
"The mentors helped me understand the importance of fundamental business strategy and planning," Krutilina said.
The accelerator gave Krutilina confidence in her idea, and she said without the mentors, she would have struggled to make important business connections and decisions on her own.
"The relationship with your mentors is ongoing, it doesn't end when the accelerator finishes and I believe these relationships will be beneficial for years to come."
"It's been such a great opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs and share ideas about all aspects of business."
Register your interest for the 2021 Sprout Accelerator at www.sproutagritech.com
Registrations close November 20, 2020.