Is your business taking on the challenge of transforming AgTech or FoodTech? The Sprout Accelerator is open now and looking for cutting-edge businesses to register for global connections, mentorship, and the chance to pitch for up to $1million in investment.

New Zealand startups working to disrupt or innovate in AgTech or FoodTech are encouraged to register for the Sprout Accelerator before 5 November to have the chance to join a long list of successful Accelerator Alumni.

Lead Company Advisor for Sprout, Jonathan Good, says that the past six years has seen Sprout work with 59 companies all across New Zealand. Fast-growing alums have gone on to raise significant capital and grow their revenue by up to 300%.

“Sprout’s deep connections and understanding of the AgTech and FoodTech ecosystems have made the difference in helping businesses to break new ground. Some of these companies are now household names, and we’ve had some extremely bold entrepreneurs in our last cohort that are going to have a tangible impact on our AgTech and FoodTech industries,” he says.

“In 2020, we had a registration from a team of four young Auckland tech engineers who had founded an AgTech start-up, Cropsy Technologies. Cropsy’s mission is to deliver disruptive, scalable technology to every fruit grower to unlock the full potential of their land with insights that were impossible before.”

Cropsy sought support from the Sprout Accelerator to understand how they could take their proprietary AI-enabled AgTech hardware to the market.

Leila Deljkovic, co-founder of Cropsy Technologies says that the outside perspective and experience that the Accelerator has with AgTech made a huge difference for their company, which now has the potential to revolutionize the growing sector from Blenheim to Bordeaux.

“We’ve developed AI-enabled hardware which allows growers to monitor every plant, understand the whole crop, and track how it changes over time. These insights will transform the industry. It’ll empower growers to challenge conventional growing practices and optimise all their decision making, meaning they can plan ahead – from how much produce they should expect to pick over a season, how many staff they’ll need, to cash flow, and eventually predicting all the important variables in crop performance.

“The system is a simple tractor add-on camera, so growers do all their daily operations while Cropsy looks out for problems. Through our work with Sprout Accelerator, we actually pivoted and took this technology from a small subset of what it made possible and began to see how it can have much wider and transformative applications in fruit growing.”

Jonathan says Cropsy are setting the new gold standard for growing.

“Cropsy are entrepreneurs with a bold vision, they have a different idea for how viticulture and horticulture can work. We saw the potential in their concept and we wanted to help them.

“We often work to support businesses with a big vision or those who are working on something quite specific – we help them to see new markets.

Leila encourages other AgTech entrepreneurs to make the most of the Sprout Accelerator.

“Absolutely apply – even if you think you are too early for an Accelerator. If anything, you’ll get valuable feedback and have some tangible actions to put in place. Registering for the Accelerator is easy, and you won’t look back.”

The Accelerator is open for registrations until 5th November, and offers business mentoring, global network access, underground events and summits around Aotearoa New Zealand to businesses that fit the below criteria.

  • Entrepreneurs, technologists & scientists developing new businesses and/or ideas that have a prototype or proof of concept of their product
  • Existing start-ups that are in early stages of growth ~ revenue <$1m
  • You can apply from anywhere in the world, but must have >50% of their company operations in New Zealand.

For more information and to register for the 2022 Sprout Accelerator, visit Applications close 5th November 2021.

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