AgLaunch Opens Program Applications For Innovative Startups

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Join AgLaunch’s nationally-recognized Entreprenuership Program in one of five programs to grow your startup. Hot on the heels of launching new farm trials of agtech innovations with farmers around the country, AgLaunch is excited to announce the application period(s) for the next round of entrepreneurship programs.

This year, programs are offered both virtually and in-person to provide unrivaled, exclusive support to agtech start-ups through a farmer-first focus and ag specific programming. From the beginning, startup technologies are selected based on their potential to have a positive impact at the farm level. To ensure that each startup receives maximum impact, AgLaunch farmers are involved in each entrepreneurial program as mentors, speakers or trial partners.

Today, AgLaunch opens applications for the five (5) following programs: AgLaunch Catalyst, Cultivate Appalachia, AgLaunch365, Robotics and Automation Challenge and the TN AgTech Springboard Program. These programs serve ag entrepreneurs at different stages and across multiple geographies. Read about each program and relevant application dates below. Interested startups can learn more details and apply at www.aglaunch.com/entrepreneurship.

1. AgLaunch Catalyst:
Virtual: June 14-17, 2022
Application deadline: May 31, 2022
Startup Stage: Ideation to Proof of Concept
Company Location: National

AgLaunch Catalyst is a one-week virtual program that gives agtech entrepreneurs who are in the pre-seed, idea, or proof-of-concept stage the boost needed to take their business to the next level. Participants will learn about the basics of business creation like legal structure and intellectual property protection, while also gaining insight into the critical actions needed for product development. Entrepreneurs will be coached to present their ideas in a way that appeals to investors and farmers to gain traction in the marketplace. If you are interested in participating in AgLaunch Catalyst, you can learn more or apply here.

2. Cultivate Appalachia: AgLaunch Bootcamp for Food & AgTech Pioneers
In-person @ Knoxville, Tennessee: July 11-14, 2022
Application Deadline: May 31, 2022
Startup Stage: Ideation to Proof of Concept
Company Location: Preferably the Appalachian Region

AgLaunch is collaborating with partners across the Appalachian region to host a bootcamp for innovators in food and agriculture. The Bootcamp is a crash course in business fundamentals and training on innovation within the agriculture industry. The goal of the program is to support early-stage agriculture startups and prepare them for follow-on programming and resources offered by AgLaunch or AgLaunch partners. While there is a preference for companies located within the Appalachian region, applicants from any location are welcome to apply. New and novel ideas in the agriculture and food value chain that would benefit the Appalachian region will be considered.

Bootcamp co-sponsors include: AgLaunch, the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, Sync.Space, The Biz Foundry, InvestSWVA, the South Carolina Research Authority, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, University of Tennessee Research Foundation, Tennessee Tech, the National Black Growers Council, and the North Carolina Biotech Center. If you are interested in participating, you can learn more or apply here.

3. AgLaunch365 Accelerator
Hybrid Virtual & In-Person – Memphis, Tennessee (Fall 2022/Winter 2023)
Application Deadline: July 18, 2022
Startup Stage: Pre-seed Companies, from Prototype to Early Sales
Company Location: National

AgLaunch’s unique multi-phased program AgLaunch365 offers a path to accelerate product and business development through farmer engagement. The model starts with the AgLaunch365 Challenge Week, continues with the AgLaunch365 Accelerator, and ends with an on-farm trial pathway. AgLaunch365 operates in these three phases over a 12-month period, ramping towards farm trials with the AgLaunch Farmer Network in the MidSouth, Iowa, Oregon and Oklahoma.

AgLaunch365 focuses on technologies that address farmer needs and accelerate solutions to critical issues within agriculture in a Row Crop Challenge and Livestock Challenge.

Row Crop Challenge – AgLaunch and Farm Journal host the Row Crop Challenge as the entry point to the AgLaunch365 Accelerator. The focus will continue to be on technologies that accelerate the adoption of sustainable production practices like regenerative soil health, water and nutrient management, labor and data management, improved efficiency in production, and traceability. Apply here.

Livestock Challenge – The Livestock Challenge is also an entry point to the AgLaunch365 Accelerator. This program focuses on developing technologies that address key issues within livestock agriculture such as animal tracking and management, animal health, waste management and environmental sustainability. Technologies that enable regenerative practices for livestock production and pasture management are of special interest. Apply here.

Startups interested in the Row Crop Challenge, Livestock Challenge and AgLaunch365 can learn more and apply at www.aglaunch.com/entrepreneurship.

4. Robotics and Automation Challenge
Hybrid Virtual & In-Person – Memphis, Tennessee
Application Deadline: July 18, 2022
Startup Stage: Pre-seed to early seed Companies, from Prototype to Early Sales
Company Location: National

AgLaunch is planning a Robotics & Automation Challenge for fall of 2022. This program will target companies that are addressing labor shortages and food access through the acceleration of agrifood supply chain disruptions with field-level robots and autonomous equipment. Apply here to be part of this exciting program that will be designed to enable specialty crop production in the MidSouth Region.

5. TN AgTech Springboard Mentor Program
Virtual: Rolling
Application deadline: Rolling
Startup Stage: Proof-of-Concept to Pre-Seed
Company Location: Tennessee

The TN AgTech Springboard Mentor Program matches Tennessee-based agtech startups with experienced mentors who work closely with founders as they prepare for fundraising and product launch. Mentors support startups through the five stage Springboard Mentor Program and provide coaching on topics including go-to market strategy, regulatory pathways, fundraising, investor pitches, intellectual property, and much more. Mentors include industry veterans and seasoned entrepreneurs as well as specialists such as investors, intellectual property lawyers, and branding experts. The TN AgTech Springboard Mentor Program is a collaboration between AgLaunch, the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center and Launch Tennessee. Interested startups can learn more and apply here.