16 September 2016

Agricultural and aspiring agribusiness entrepreneurs will be given a shot in the arm thanks to a $1 million investment announced today by the Victorian Government.

Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, launched the new agri-tech accelerator program SproutX at Marcus Oldham College in Geelong and is encouraging innovative thinkers to apply for support to help make their ideas become a reality.

SproutX Pty Ltd is a joint venture between the National Farmers Federation and financial services firm Findex and is set to be a new Victorian-based Agri-tech business accelerator and national collaboration network for innovators in Australian agriculture.

The pre-accelerator program will identify, nurture, promote and help commercialise the best new ideas in food, fibre and agribusiness by connecting agri-tech entrepreneurs with investors to help develop and bring their new ideas to fruition.

Successful applicants will be equipped with basic business skills, learn start-up principles, have access to key industry mentors, connect with strong support networks and have the opportunity to pitch their individual innovations to potential investors.

At the end of the eight-week program, the successful graduates will receive a $1000 cash grant and $10,000 of in-kind services to help them pursue their venture.

Over the next two years, the Victorian Government will provide $1 million through the flagship Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund to support the establishment of the program and enable a first tranche of Victorian participants.

Victoria is Australia’s leading exporter of food and fibre with the sector valued at $13.1 billion and accounting for nearly a third of the nation’s agricultural exports, supporting approximately 193,000 jobs.

The SproutX initiative is another example of Victoria continuing to lead the way when it comes to investing in our primary production and agribusiness sector.

More information about SproutX and how to apply can be found at: www.sproutx.com.au

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