AgriFutures is calling for young innovators passionate about the future of Australian agriculture to apply for the evokeAG Future Young Leaders Program.
Ten participants will be chosen to present their ideas and solutions relating to the themes of food, farm, or future at evokeAG in Melbourne, an event bringing together the agrifood tech ecosystem to look at what is happening across Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
John Harvey, managing director of AgriFutures Australia, said the program wants to recognise and support outstanding talent within the agriculture and food industries.
“The future of food and farming is agile, entrepreneurial, and commercially savvy, and the evokeAG Future Young Leaders Program is about harnessing those qualities and elevating our thought leaders to the next level,” he said.
“The Future Young Leaders Program will provide a valuable platform to showcase their ideas and passions to producers, investors, private enterprise, corporates, government and entrepreneurs on a global stage. We hope the themes of food, farm, future will encourage a wide range of applicants and concepts.”
Applicants must submit a video answering the question, Why should you be selected as a voice of the future at evokeAG?
Also set to run at the event is Pitch Tent, a pitching competition running across three streams.
The Producer Problem stream will see primary producers, such as growers or farm managers, pitch the audience an agricultural challenge they face in their day to day work that there is not yet a solution for.
The Seed Funding stream is open to entrepreneurs and startups looking for seed funding and partnerships to take their idea or prototype to market, while the Investment Ready stream is for startups ready to scale.
With five finalists to pitch in each stream, all finalists will be matched with a mentor to help them prepare for their pitch.
Matthew Pryor, director of food and agtech program Rocket Seeder, said, “Startups drive innovation, and innovation is what will decide how our sector fares through the 21st century. Input from the entire ecosystem from agtech, research and producers is needed to help transform the current food system and tackle the major challenges faced due to the globe’s burgeoning population.”
Set to run on 19-20 February, evokeAG will see speakers including Nitza Kardish, CEO of Trendlines Incubators Israel; AgriDigital CEO Emma Weston; futurist Chris Riddell; and Ros Harvey, founder of The Yield discuss topics such as biotechnology, artificial intelligence, the food of the future, food prevenance, and autonomous farming.
The planning of the event follows a strong year for the Australian agtech and agrifood ecosystem.
Impact investment services firm Blue River Group earlier this month launched Bridge Hub, an innovation hub to test and commercialise new ideas in the agrifood sector.
To be headquartered in Wagga Wagga, Bridge Hub will also have operations in Sydney and Israel, with the goal of bringing together industry, researchers, and government to develop startups to benefit producers and consumers.