SparkLabs Group Launches an Agricultural Tech Accelerator Called Cultiv8 in Australia
SparkLabs Group, which claims to be the largest startup accelerator group in Asia, is stepping into agricultural tech with a new program created in partnership with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, according to an article posted by Catherine Shu on TechCrunch.com. Called SparkLabs Cultiv8 and based in Orange, Australia, the accelerator will start in the second quarter of 2018.
Each intake will participate for eight months and include between eight to 12 startups. They will work out of Gate (Global Ag-Tech Ecosystem), a new facility founded by SparkLabs and the NSW Department of Primary Industries, and have access to the latter’s research labs and farms in Orange, which is a three-hour drive outside of Sydney, for prototyping. Companies can also potentially receive up to AUD $100,000 (about $80,000) in investment.
“It’s not about a co-working space in a city, it’s providing real access to top facilities that are important for a ag-tech/sustainability startup,” says Cultiv8 partner Jonathon Quigley.
With the launch of Cultiv8, SparkLabs will have accelerator programs in South Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Australia. One benefit of working in Australia is that the country’s agricultural industry already exports billions of dollars in products to Asia. The total amount is expected to double by 2050, giving ag-tech startups a chance to learn many practical lessons about scaling up.