It’s widely understood that start-ups come from a position of strength. They have an idea that is cutting edge and innovative, they know how to create it, they have the drive to produce it and the passionate belief in its future success. However, even with all the drive and passion in the world, a company needs to learn about the market, connect to corporates for pilots and partnerships, and find adequate funding – without which a start-up cannot actually start. To find a network of this nature requires some extra assistance, which is where accelerators come in. Accelerators are a major way in which start-ups can find help, resources, and guidance.
For start-ups, having a corporate as a strategic investor and/or partner, or even having a POC with a corporate, is a significant springboard for start-up success. Moreover, AgriFood corporates are increasingly becoming leading players in terms of investments – nearly a quarter of all deals made in 2016 involved a corporate, compared to fewer than 5% of deals made in 2013!
Concurrently, corporates are increasingly becoming involved with start-up accelerators, as they see such connections as a way to gain additional market insight, as well as valuable access to deal flow. Using accelerators has become a prominent way in which start-ups can gain access to leading players in AgriFood tech, and if and/or when relevant, secure a POC. Several corporates have either opened an acceleration program or are backing one. For example, Baywa and RWA established the Agro Innovation Lab accelerator and Alltech founded the Dog Patch accelerator. In addition, the Terra accelerator program is backed by Rabobank, BASF, Givaudan and Nestle, and the partners for the Plug and Play accelerator include Hershey’s, PepsiCo, Ajinomoto and Tyson.
Acceleration Programs: Where it’s at
Participation in a prominent, international, corporate-backed acceleration program is a good way for a start-up to gain exposure for its product, as well as validation, and substantial PR. The potential value of participating in this type of program is clearly enormous, and start-up companies are well aware of this. However, since there is a distinct lack of awareness regarding which programs are available (not to mention time cycles, joining criteria, what they offer, whether they take equity, if on-site attendance is required, and so on), opportunities to join such programs are often missed.
A growing number of corporates in the AgriFood tech space have become involved in start-up accelerators, which offer start-ups an important way to gain a broader and more substantial understanding of the market and provide crucial access to strategic partners and pilots. The $64 M question is what exactly is out there in terms of accelerator programs and, more to the point, how does a start-up find out this information?
The Answer is Here…
The Start-Up Nation Central Agritech Accelerator Guide.
The Agritech Accelerator Guide maps global accelerator programs that are relevant to Agritech start-ups. Offering information about the programs that exist, it allows start-ups to easily search for an appropriate and relevant accelerator program that precisely fits their specific needs.
The Accelerator Guide has been built to easily offer all start-ups the option to obtain information about all of the leading Agri-focused international accelerator programs. Start-ups can look for one or more available accelerator programs, using filters which hone the search according to the following parameters:
- The location of the accelerator – is it situated in Israel or abroad?
- Is in-person attendance required?
- What are the options for funding for a specific program?
- What are the next available dates?
- What is the duration of an accelerator? Is a month, a few months, a year or any other period of time?
- What are the next dates for application for a specific program?
- What are the criteria for a start-up to be able to apply?
As you can see above, the main page of the accelerator guide features links to a number of potential accelerators. Start-ups can click through these links and see more detailed descriptions, according to all the parameters described above, plus a list of key partners for each program.
Better than Beta, But Still Brand New
At Start-Up Nation Central, we make it our business to provide useful tools for the community. To this end, we are more than happy for the community to contribute to growing this program and make it as effective and successful as it can be, and we are always interested in hearing your feedback. If there are other programs that you know of, which are currently not featured in the Accelerator Guide, and you think should be, please let us know about them.
Contact Tamar Weiss, AgriFood Tech Sector Lead, Start-Up Nation Central.