Through LaunchVic, Agriculture Victoria is supporting early-stage Victorian AgTech startups with a $50k grant — $45k as a cash grant and $5k as business mentoring services — until 30 June 2024, or whenever funds are fully allocated.
The $2.2m partnership that Agriculture Victoria signed with LaunchVic in April 2021 to improve both the quality and quantity of early-stage AgTech startups across the state has resulted in three AgTech pre-accelerators being funded to support a total of 130 AgTech entrepreneurs to start and grow a business between January 2022 and August 2024.
LaunchVic has again partnered with Agriculture Victoria to support early-stage AgTech startups across Victoria by providing small grants of $50,000 ($45k as a cash grant and $5k as business mentoring services) so that these AgTech startups can build capability and move to the next stage of growth quickly, thereby being able to attract further investment.
Definition of AgTech under the program
The following AgTech definition will be used by LaunchVic to determine if your startup is eligible:
AgTech is the collection of digital technologies that provide the agricultural industry with the tools, data, and knowledge to make more informed, timely on-farm decisions and improve productivity and sustainability. Applications of these technologies can include: plant or animal science, crop protection & input management, precision agriculture, indoor agriculture, sensors & smart farm equipment, imagery, animal technologies, processing & packaging, supply chain, and hardware.
The grant can be used to cover operating costs that build startup capability and growth, which include:
- Salaries for new positions and activities that support product and service development costs;
- Business process and system improvement;
- Marketing, communications and sales;
- Customer growth and customer success initiatives;
- Costs that support investment attraction;
- Intellectual property costs;
- Product trial costs.
Salaries for founders and pre-existing staff will not be supported, and the AgTech Grants Program is not intended to support routine operational expenditure, retrospective activities, or the purchase, lease or acquisition of land.
Recipients of the grant will have access to service providers addressing identified areas of support for startups, including:
- Legal services;
- Financial services;
- Access to Capital Support;
- Connectivity & networking including access to sales channels and corporate partnerships;
- Commercialisation advice including IP support;
- Export readiness and support;
- Strategy development;
- Government grant support, including for EMDG, ESIC and R&D tax credits.
Key Eligibility Criteria
- Applicants must have at least 50% of their assets and employees located in Victoria;
- The startup must have been founded within the last 24 months;
- If the startup has raised more than $250,000 (ex GST, but including funding received from grants), then it will not be eligible to receive funding under this grant.
Key Assessment Criteria
Besides satisfying the eligibility criteria above, applicants must address the following Key Assessment Criteria:
- Provide a solid Business Overview, including the agriculture problem being solved by the startup, your standard investor pitch deck, and goals for the next 12 months;
- Capability of Execution: Outline key personnel currently working in the business, including founding team and any employees;
- Ongoing commitment to develop the business: Detail the contributions made to date by the founders (including time and/or financials) and how much time the founders and key personnel will spend on the business during the six months of the grant;
- Visible signs of early traction and potential for business success: Provide details on business traction to date including revenue generated, number of customers, and product trials (paid or unpaid); and/or letters of support from existing or potential customers;
- Financials: Provide a budget for the project, with income and expenditure and what the grant funding will be used for.
Applications for the Victorian AgTech Grants Program will be received until 30 June 2024, or whenever funds are fully allocated and can be submitted via LaunchVic’s online application system.
If you’re a Victorian startup, whether Agtech or another innovative sector, and need the best advice to keep moving onward and upward, contact Fullstack Advisory so you can leverage our expertise and knowledge of all the grants, incentives, rebates, and other opportunities available.