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SparkLabs Cultiv8 demoday kicks off in September

Leading food and agriculture technology start-ups will meet in Sydney on Tuesday 10 September at the SparkLabs Cultiv8 Demoday, which is held every year.

SparkLabs Cultiv8, the start-up food and agtech accelerator, designed the event to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, media and government to focus on how food is created, distributed and consumed, and consider how this can be done better, with sustainability as a key focus.

At the demoday, as well as a range of businesses and leaders showcasing their innovations, experts from various fields will also share insights and the latest global tech trends.

SparkLabs Cultiv8 managing director Guy Hudson, says,“Demoday is an event showcasing new products, services and business models developed by start-ups to attract investment and funding.

"It's an opportunity for start-ups who have been through the SparkLabs Cultiv8 Accelerator Program to highlight their vision and the impact their businesses are creating.”

This year's companies participating in Demoday include:

  • InnerPlant: the world''s first biosensor sentinel plant platform, developed by a US based start-up, that senses plant changes at a molecular level, alerting farmers to allow instant action
  • Oaesis: based in Saudi Arabia, Oaesis is developing laser-based lighting systems for indoor farming that improve efficiency and reduce energy and watering costs.
  • MPT: an Australia-based business using sensors located in specially designed farm equipment to measure moisture in soil, collecting data that can be used to optimise planting and yields.
  • SIPP: an Australian company focused on coffee. The company has developed a unique range of functional beverages packaged in sustainable home compostable packaging with $1 from every pouch sold donated to Wildark, an organisation dedicated to making our planet more sustainable.
  • The Training Paddock: an Australian-developed online skills management system providing farmers with insights about workers’ skills, and steers and validates workers' professional development.
  • traive: initially being rolled out in Brazil, traive is an online lending platform using artificial intelligence and big data to support new risk-reduced lending opportunities in agriculture.
  • Zetifi: an Australian company that has developed affordable solar powered on-farm WiFi overcoming mobile blackspots and helping to simplify and streamline farm management.

The 2019 Cohort and Demoday includes a variety of people in many fields keen. Attendees include Australian and global investors, specialist Agtech, venture and corporate venture capital, corporates and institutions, according to the company. Last year's Demoday saw over 450+ people attend.

The SparkLabs Cultiv8 accelerator program is another way the company invests in developing the food and agri tech space.

Through the program, companies receive an investment of up to $100,000 seed funding from the $10 million SparkLabs Cultiv8 fund, which brings the fund's portfolio to 16 companies.

The companies gain access to resources of Asia's largest accelerator group, SparkLabs and the NSW Department of Primary Industries with cohort participants able to access the space and resources of the Global AgTech Ecosystem (GATE) located in Orange, New South Wales, according to the company.

The businesses in the 2019 SparkLabs Cultiv8 cohort come from Australia, the US and Saudi Arabia. Companies graduating in 2018 raised a total of $33 million since their inception and now have international sales and partnerships with large companies.

"Our model is for seasoned entrepreneurs to work with new founders to grow their businesses, maximise their impact and provide access to international networks of investors, customers and partners," says Hudson.

The graduates of the 2018 SparkLabs Cultiv8 program include Aquabyte, which recently secured $10 Million Series A financing to continue to tackle the fish farming industry with machine learning.

James Tyler built a multi-channel platform now selling Australian produce through some of China's largest 'new retail' customers including AliBaba's Hema store. They are now the largest exportor of fresh Australian dairy to China and raised $1.4m from Australian private and institutional investors to fund their expansion.

Farmbot secured a national alliance with leading agriculture merchandise supplier Ruralco that will see Farmbot distributed nationally across some 600 stores; Hydroleap signed a multi-year, multimillion dollar deal with their largest client yet; and Ripe.io completed a $US2.4 million seed round with investors including Maersk Ventures.

SparkLabs Demoday will be held at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney hotel. 

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