Applications are open for Rocket Seeder, a new accelerator program aiming to help Victorian-based startups in the food and agtech space further develop.
To be launched in partnership with Monash University’s Monash Food Incubator, the program is looking to help early-stage entrepreneurs with an idea through to those with an MVP and paying customers.
Solutions must address an aspect of the value chain, from production to consumption; this covers the likes of those working with land, seed, fertiliser, stock and feed to those in production, processing, packaging, warehousing and distribution, wholesale and retail, or preparation and consumption.
Showcasing the breadth of opportunity in the space, solutions in these areas could be working within sectors as diverse as transport and logistics, energy, materials, equipment, labour, research and development, or banking and finance.
Jeff Bourne, cofounder and managing director of Rocket Seeder, said, “We are particularly interested in consumer-focused solutions, food science and food technology, and industrial agriculture technology solutions.”
The Rocket Seeder incubator received $675,000 from the Victorian Government’s startup body, LaunchVic last year to help develop the state’s agtech ecosystem.
The partnership with the Monash University will see startups graduating from Rocket Seeder given the opportunity to take part in the six month-long Monash Food Incubator.
Additional program partners include the Food Innovation Centre at Monash University, which will see participants given access to 3D printers and able to visualise and test their product on retail shelves using retail VR and eye tracking facilities, and Badalya, a scale up partner focused on taking validated food concepts to global markets.
Commercial kitchen provider My Other Kitchen has also partnered with the program.
“Consumer-focused food startups can work on their product formulations in the commercial kitchen in the morning, and then work on their business in the coworking space and collaboration lounge in the afternoon,” Bourne said.
Rocket Seeder is the latest program to launch looking at the agritech and foodtech space.
Melbourne-based agtech innovation hub SproutX recently announced its first accelerator cohort; 11 startups were selected out of a pool of 100 applicants, with each set to receive mentoring from agtech industry experts and $40,000 in capital in exchange for eight percent equity.
Although the accelerator’s cohort is agtech-based, the diversity of ideas is extensive, ranging from blockchain to hydroponic vertical farming, the method of growing plants indoors and without soil, bottom-to-top.
Food and beverage company Lion also earlier this year partnered with Slingshot to launch Lion Unleashed, an accelerator program focused startups with products and solutions that could in some way apply to the food and beverage space.
Applications for Rocket Seeder close on August 28. The program will be running a roadshow around Victoria throughout the month.
Image: Jeff Bourne. Source: Supplied.