Agri-food tech accelerator, SparkLabs Cultiv8 has opened applications for its sixth agri-food tech accelerator.
The first cleantech program ran last year. SparkLabs Cultiv8 partner Malcolm Nutt said that with momentum for the sector was increasing rapidly, both in Australia and globally, they plan to focus once again on cleantech agri-food companies in 2024.
The program will consist of 10 companies ranging from early-stage founders to growth/commercialisation startups
“There are strong tailwinds behind cleantech in agrifood,” Nutt said. “Regulation around carbon; increasing corporate participation, and increasing urgency around climate change, are driving this sector and those factors are only going to intensify.”
One of the 2023 accelerator participants was Sam Sneddon, CEO of Wollemi.io, who said the program had been exceptionally helpful.
“The program has certainly been a key part of our ability to scale quickly,” she said.
“The network that SparkLabs Cultiv8 wraps around the cohort is exceptional – the program is a standout.”
Packamama founder and CEO, Santiago Navarro, said the program had turbocharged their Australian launch, which has seen their flat, eco-friendly recycled wine bottles embraced by leading Australian wine brands including Accolade, Banrock Station and Taylors.
“You get access to an unbeatable ecosystem for Australia, and you’ll be part of a wider ecosystem internationally – the SparkLabs brand is globally respected from the Valley into Asia and Australia,” he said.
The GATE, at the NSW DPI Orange Agricultural Institute, is home for the accelerator program’s Week Zero kickoff and showcase finale.
Companies access a global network of mentors and experts as well as local customers, from farmers to supply chain participants to consumer outlets.
SparkLabs partner Jonathon Quigley said the program’s access to such a broad range of expertise had been foundational to its success.
“The companies we’ve supported have been exceptionally successful compared to both general startup and venture capital statistics,” he said.
The program is open to startups globally at sparklabscultiv8.com/apply.
Since 2017, SparkLabs Cultiv8 has supported 50 companies through its accelerator program, with 85% of them still growing today, having raised more than $600 million in total for a combined value of more than $1.7 billion.