The IIM-Ahmedabad’s technology business incubator, Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), on Thursday announced the launch of India’s first food and agri-business accelerator in partnership with a-IDEA, business incubator at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM).
The programme aims to accelerate, nurture and invest in innovative early stage start-ups that have the potential to become scalable and competitive food and agri ventures. Selected start-ups will be provided with intensive capacity building, mentoring and advisory support, CIIE said in a statement here.
Applications for the three-month programme will be accepted until June 12, 2015. More information on the programme is available at http://agri.ciieindia.org/.
Top two teams would be provided a seed investment of up to Rs. 30 lakh each by CIIE, NAARM and Goa-based agri-focused incubator Center for Innovation and Business Acceleration (CIBA).
Further, CIIE’s sustainability focused fund Infuse Ventures may invest up to Rs. 1 crore per venture in start-ups in sustainable agriculture areas like precision farming, supply chain tech, soil, weather and water tech, ICT/IoT for agriculture.
CIIE has also partnered with leading agri-focused funds such as Omnivore Partners, Aspada Investments and Rural Agri Ventures, who will consider the ventures for potential investments.
In addition to these, other strategic partners such as Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, IDMC Ltd and Agri Investor (a global media platform for agri investments) would provide mentoring support to the start-ups to help them become investment-ready.
While the agri investments have picked up in the recent years, support for start-ups at the early and pre-revenue stages continues to be limited. “With this accelerator, we will be able to scout, accelerate and invest in start-ups that are trying to address the existing gaps in this sector through product and process innovation,” the statement said.
Applications for this accelerator will be invited from early-stage start-ups working on breakthrough technologies and business models in various food and agri-business sectors such as precision farming, farm mechanisation, sustainable inputs, new post-harvesting technologies, healthy/ innovative food tech, farm fresh retail, supply chain tech, soil, water and weather tech, ICT/IoT for agriculture.