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The AgTech Grant Program -50k for Early Start-ups


AgTech Grants - Haines Consulting Group

LaunchVic and Agriculture Victoria have once again partnered to provide increased support for early-stage AgTech startups across Victoria. This partnership aims to rapidly provide small amounts of working capital to help startups build capability and move to the next stage of growth. The grant will provide funding to cover operating costs that build startup capability and growth, as well as access to business development services to enable founders to access the best possible support and advice to build their businesses, grow jobs, and support Victoria's economic growth.


Each startup will receive $50,000 (ex GST) from LaunchVic, of which $45,000 (ex GST) will be a cash grant (equity free and non-dilutive), while the remaining $5,000 (ex GST) will fund business mentoring services. The grant will run for six months, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.


The partnership between LaunchVic and Agriculture Victoria started in April 2021 with a $2.2 million program of work aimed at improving the quantity and quality of early-stage AgTech startups across Victoria and building startup entrepreneurial capability in the agricultural sector. As a result of this partnership, the Victorian AgTech community has demonstrably grown, with three AgTech pre-accelerators grant-funded to support a total of 130 AgTech entrepreneurs to start and grow a business between January 2022 and August 2024. These programs are also supporting ecosystem and business pipeline development through additional programs and activities.


The AgTech sector has enormous potential to impact Australia's agricultural sector's growth, with the global AgTech market's total value expected to reach $22.5 billion by 2025, representing an estimated growth rate of 150% from 2020. However, despite having all the elements to be a national leader in AgTech, Victoria needs support to help AgTech startups further develop their capability and move to the next stage of growth quickly. It is predicted that with the right support, Victoria's AgTech sector will achieve revenues of $350 million and employ 2500 FTEs by 2025.


The agriculture sector is a vital part of the Victorian economy, and it needs to continually adapt to changing conditions. AgTech is a priority industry of the future, driving the adaptation of the agriculture sector by providing farmers with the tools, data, and knowledge to make more informed, timely on-farm decisions and improve productivity and sustainability.


LaunchVic's partnership with Agriculture Victoria to provide increased support for early-stage AgTech startups across Victoria is a crucial step towards achieving this goal.


AgTech is the collection of digital technologies that provide the agricultural industry with the tools, data and knowledge to make more informed, timely on-farm decisions and improve productivity and sustainability. Applications of these technologies can include plant or animal science, crop protection & input management, precision agriculture, indoor agriculture, sensors & smart farm equipment, imagery, animal technologies, processing & packaging, supply chain and hardware.


*FoodTech (food production) is generally not included in this definition, unless the business idea is technology based with high impact potential, using innovation and/or addressing scalable markets


Startups are technology-based businesses with high-impact potential, that use innovation and/or address scalable markets. Their product/service/platform/ hardware is driven by technology. Examples of technology include software/ applications, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, advanced manufacturing & robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, augmented /virtual reality, 3D printing, advanced materials, genomics & life sciences (including biotech &MedTech) and autonomous vehicles.


A startup that is Idea-to-Early Stage must either be:

• working on an idea that has not yet been fully developed or launched in market; or

• testing a prototype in-market, without a significant customer base or revenue



ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must satisfy the following eligibility criterion:

1. Meet LaunchVic’s definition of an AgTech Startup The startup must meet the definitions for AgTech and Startup as defined above.


2. Be a registered Business A registered business is defined as:

• having an Australian Business Number (ABN)

• if required, being registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)

• being one of the following entities:

o an entity incorporated in Australia

o an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust

o an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006(Cth)

o a partnership

o a sole trader.


3. Based in Victoria Applicants must have at least 50% of its assets and employees located in Victoria. The founder should be a person that has a primary residence in Victoria.


4. Stage Meet LaunchVic’s definition of an Idea-to-Early-Stage startup


5. Funds Raised to Date If a startup has raised more than $500,000 (ex GST) (including funding received from grants), it will not be eligible to receive funding under this grant round. Unless otherwise approved by the LaunchVic board or its delegated executive committee.


6. Adhere to Victorian Government Policy on ESG Prohibited Activities The startup must not be involved with:

• tobacco or tobacco-related products;

• Cluster munitions and other controversial weapons;

• Thermal coal;

• Gambling;

• Logging of old growth forests;

• Uranium;

• Unregulated animal testing;

• Live cattle and/or sheep exports; or

• Fracking.


7. Grant Amount Applications for $50,000 (ex GST) only are eligible



Business Capability and Growth Costs include salaries for new positions and activities that support product and service development costs, business process and system improvement, marketing, communications and sales, customer growth and customer success initiatives, costs that support investment attraction, intellectual property costs, and product trial costs. Salaries for founders and pre-existing staff will not be supported.


Applications are open on 21 February 2023 and will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds are awarded, or until 30 June 2024.


Source: LaunchVic



 

Haines Consulting Group is a management consultancy firm specialising in business strategy, growth, government grants and new venture developments. If you need any assistance with a grant submission please contact us now for a confidential conversation.

 






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