Agro Innovation Lab’s Success Stories Excite For More In 2017

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Agro Innovation Lab's fruitful first batch proves the agricultural accelerator's success. Apply until May 28th to grow your AgriTech startup & profit from AIL's Acceleration Program 2017!

BayWa & RWA, two of the most important players in the global agriculture industry with more than 1.000 distribution sites, have joined forces to design the second batch of their accelerator Agro Innovation Lab (AIL). The application for 2017’s acceleration program is open until May 28th for AgriTech startups looking to grow their market and strengthen their operations- just like the four winning startups of 2016 did.

European AgriTech Success Stories

Last year, 160 startups coming from 49 countries applied for AIL’s acceleration program. 13 of them were selected to participate in the Finalist-Days, ultimately awarding four winners from four countries. During this process over 1800 emails were sent, 200 hours of phone calls happened, over 10.000 people visited Agro Innovation Lab’s website. Impressive numbers, which the accelerator aims to top this year as Reinhard Bauer, CEO at AIL, explains: “We are very proud that the Agro Innovation Lab was so successful internationally and glad that we are able to kick off our second edition now. We are looking forward to applications from even more countries around the world this year!”.

One key factor contributing to the success of last year’s winners is Agro Innovation Lab’s determination to establish a long-term partnership with their startups. During post-acceleration, the victorious teams were given ideal conditions to enable further development noticeably and individually. Four months of intensive support provided four startups with the knowledge, the capital, and an ever extending mentor network to make their products market-ready. As the startups mention themselves, the unique access to BayWa & RWA’s market and experts network was especially valuable.

Tevatronic

Israeli startup Tevatronic was able to manage pilot tests for their fully autonomous irrigation system. They are now preparing for the field trails of their sensors that measure the actual need for water by the plant which in turn reduces the uses of water and fertilizers. To best equip them for the European market entry, AIL supported them with the product identification and certification.

CropTech

Slovak CropTech has developed a sensor-based automation system for growing plants in- and outside. Their product “ResponzIO” can read the data from up to 16 sensors, autonomously control up to 8 devices and present the resulting data on any device. With the help of Agro Innovation Lab, CropTech conducted a client analysis and evaluation to create a concept consisting of two versions of their product.

Evja

Italy-based startup Evja created a computer-based decision system that collects data from various sensors. This data can be sent to any device and provides the farmer with a better decision-making basis. In the acceleration process, Evja developed their information system “Opi” for Smart Farming and optimized it through a market and competitor analysis, focusing on wine yards where they are already preparing for a first field test.

Evologic Technologies

Austrian startup Evologic Technologies is working on a more efficient production process of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). This innovative process reduces the demand for fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation, which also leads to higher margins. Supported by AIL, Evologic Technologies evaluated the most attractive cultures of AMF to further improve their solution of a more efficient and economic production in 2017.

As AIL’s CEO Reinhard Bauer reports, the outcomes are very positive: “All four startups showed high motivation and the will to implement the advice they were given by our international mentors. We’re happy with our startups’ development”. As a result of this rapid development, tangible applications will be made available to farmers this summer.

Taking Innovation To The Next Level

In cooperation with AIL these startups effectively worked on – and substantially improved – their products & services in the sectors of BioTech, irrigation systems, and IT, resulting in investment talks with BayWa & RWA. The declared aim of both industry leaders is to establish long-term collaborations with the startups, either as a strategic partner or investor for which they offer a special deal: startups have the unique opportunity to decide whether to participate in an equity- or a non-equity-based program. In whatever way they decide, they will definitely benefit from BayWa & RWA’s expertise in developing business models, establishing a sales structure, expanding markets as well as an active exchange in terms of agricultural innovations.

Until now, there was no professional organization that supports startups in the farming industry like BayWa & RWA. Their unit Agro Innovation Lab is meant to be a catalyst for startups, especially since the focus on the agriculture and food sector is unique to this accelerator. Reinhard Wolf, CEO of RWA, points out that supporting their startups in every way is the main focus: “We want to provide startups with ideal preconditions so they can further develop their products. Our aim for them is to benefit from our extensive mentor network, laboratory access & technical equipment for field tests. This is how we make sure our startups are best prepared to enter and position themselves on the market”.

Participate To Actively Shape The Agricultural Industry

The possibility to cooperate with two major agricultural players is anything but ordinary. Startups taking part in the acceleration process promote their network by extending it with more than 100 mentors & industry experts (bonus: that number is growing!) and will gain advantages from expertise specifically tailored to their needs.

The acceleration program will last from September 2017 to February 2018 – 20 weeks in total of which six will either be held in Germany (Munich) or Austria (Vienna), two of Europe’s most exciting cities as The Independent recently noted. The remaining 14 weeks will be held remotely to ensure later-stage startups can continue their current business operations.

Agro Innovation Lab’s aspiration is to actively shape agriculture and equip AgriTech startups with the know-how they need to establish their name in the industry. With guaranteeing an even broader network of experts and mentors for the second batch, AIL aims to take their acceleration program to the next level. One part of achieving this goal was to add sectors like IoT to their fields of interest, among others:

 

Let Your Startup Sprout With Agro Innovation Lab's Acceleration Program!

For agile and disruptive startups that have their finger on the pulse of time, Agro Innovation Labs’ Acceleration Program 2017 is the ideal environment to grow and scale, as 2016’s winners prove.

Want to be one of the six most innovative startups that BayWa & RWA will support long-term? Apply until May 28th & make sure to follow all updates on Facebook!

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