Food and agri-business startups that are at the scale up stage and are developing innovative products or services will be eligible.

Govt launches Agri Udaan an accelerator to boost food and agri-tech startups
Atom Startups Saturday, August 05, 2017 - 14:07

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM)’s technology business incubator a-IDEA has launched ‘Agri Udaan’ a food and agribusiness accelerator 2.0 along with IIM Ahmedabad’s Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE)

This is the government’s initiative to promote innovation in agriculture and help startups gain mentorship and connect with potential investors.

This six-month programme will help selected startups with a working prototype scale up their operations in the agri value chain for effective improvement in agriculture. The program will also help them gain initial market traction.

Food and AgriBusiness startups that are at the scale up stage and are developing innovative products or services will be eligible. They also need to have a full-time core team ready with a working prototype for customer validation with some initial customer traction for the product or service.

Shortlisted startups also stand a chance to get up to Rs 25 Lakh funding.

Startups will be evaluated by mentors from industry, business and partner organizations and based on the average scores, 40 startups will be shortlisted and allowed to pitch in front of panel of evaluators during cohort finalization programme on October 9 and 10 at NAARM.  Of these about 8-12 startups will be selected for final cohort for capacity building workshop.

The shortlisted cohort of startups will undergo a capacity building (CB) workshop in ICAR-NAARM. During this period, the startups will be trained in different aspects of technology commercialization, product validation, business plan preparation, risk analysis, customer engagement, finance management, fund raising and more.

“The idea is to attract the youth from rural India and elsewhere, and train them so they can add value to the farmers’ produce. Our goal is to begin a start-up revolution in agriculture which so far has been limited to the services sector,” Narendra Singh Rathore, deputy director general of agricultural education at ICAR told Mint.

The areas of focus for startups will be sustainable inputs, precision and smart agriculture, innovative food technology, supply chain technology, fisheries, soil, water and weather tech, ICT and IoT in agriculture, agri fintech, animal husbandry, urban or vertical farming, agri-biotech, post-harvest technology, farm fresh retail and farm mechanization.

The program was launched on Friday and over the next month, there will be road shows across Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Applications for the program close on September 15 and the program will start on October 30. 

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