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Business talent scouts looking for next superstar
Posted on 14-Sep-2015 16:25. | Tags Filed under: News.

Business talent scouts are looking for a startup with the potential to be New Zealand’s next global agritech superstar.

Sprout, a national agritech business accelerator, is searching the country for eight budding entrepreneurs with embryonic agritech businesses for a new development programme.

The chosen eight will receive a cash injection of $20,000 and be placed in a 20-week part time and remotely delivered programme that will see them flown around the country for mentoring from world-class business and technical experts.

The programme will culminate in an opportunity to pitch for investment to a hand picked group of potential investors, business leaders and industry experts.

Sprout Programme Manager James Bell-Booth says Sprout wants to grow businesses in their hometowns.

“We’re looking for new businesses from around New Zealand that have big ideas but would benefit from the network, expertise and funding to grow globally. Those engaging in the programme have no need to move from their home locality. This initiative is about finding the next global stars, and boosting regional economies at the same time,” he says.

Sprout is being supported and funded by a mix of public and private sector leaders in agritech and startup investment, including Callaghan Innovation, Massey University, Gallagher Group, Livestock Improvement Corporation, NZTE, Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 fund, Enterprise Angels and Manawatu Investment Group.

The Sprout accelerator programme was designed by BCC, a Palmerston North-based business incubator. Over the last two years BCC has helped establish four globally focused agritech startups, BioLumic, CalfSMART, CropX and Polybatics, which have raised in excess of $15 million in growth capital from New Zealand and overseas investors.

Bell-Booth says lessons from those companies successful start up journeys have contributed to the Sprout programme.

“Our focus is on helping entrepreneurs grow their startups from great ideas into investment-ready early stage companies,” he says.

Entries are open until October 16, 2015. The programme commences on 2 November.

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