Saskatchewan’s first Agtech Accelerator to become a reality
June 24, 2021 By Economic Development Regina Inc.
Economic Development Regina (EDR), Cultivator powered by Conexus (Cultivator) and soon-to-be-launched venture capital fund, Emmertech, are teaming up to launch an Agtech Accelerator.
Through this partnership, “we’re solidifying Saskatchewan as a global hub for agtech investment, commercialization, and job creation by providing world-leading agtech and foodtech companies with the mentorship, resources, programming and funding needed to help them take their startup to the next level,” states the joint press release.
“A high-performance accelerator needs to provide impactful programming, access to capital, and key industry connections. Through the partnership of Emmertech (capital), EDR (industry), and Cultivator (programming), and the support of Innovation Saskatchewan, we’ve got the perfect recipe for cultivating Canada’s agtech sector,” says Jordan McFarlen, Cultivator Manager, Conexus Credit Union.
The Agtech Accelerator will be open to agtech and foodtech companies from across Canada that focus on (but not limited to):
- Big data and predictive analytics
- Supply chain, traceability and sustainability
- Precision agriculture
- Robotics and automation
- Farm management software, sensing and Internet of Things
- Animal health
What makes the Agtech Accelerator unique is that it is venture capital-backed. Companies selected to participate will receive an equity investment at intake via Emmertech – a first for an accelerator in Saskatchewan and Canada.
“Attracting agriculture business, expertise, capital and supports is a key focus for our region. We’re excited to partner with Cultivator and Emmertech to launch the Agtech Accelerator as part of our growing ecosystem – helping create new opportunities and innovations that will contribute to our vision to be a leader in agricultural innovation,” says Ly Pham, Director, Entrepreneurship & Strategic Initiatives, EDR.
Coming on board as a funding partner for the Agtech Accelerator is Innovation Saskatchewan, with a $300,000 commitment over the next three years. “Through this funding, we can accelerate game-changing innovation, further positioning Saskatchewan as a global leader for agtech and foodtech,” states the release.
One cohort per year will be selected each year through an application process, with programming taking place during the winter months to coincide with farming off-season. At the end of the programming, companies will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges at an event called “Demo Day” for a chance to win prizes. Cohort recruitment will take place each fall.
To learn more, visit Cultivator.ca/agtech-accelerator.
Source: Economic Development Regina Inc.
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