What is offered in the Agro Innovation Lab Acceleration Program?
The aim of the Agro Innovation Lab Acceleration Program is to provide the best possible support for founders through intensive coaching and training by experts and mentors. In addition to this, a broad network of potential investors, large agricultural players in Europe, public institutions, selected service partners, etc. is on offer. There is also the opportunity to enter into a promising cooperation with BayWa & RWA.
For more detailed information on the services and resources offered, check the Accelerator menu item.
How do we apply for the Acceleration Program?
Applications for this year’s program, which runs from September 2017 to February 2018, are only available online until 28.05.2017. The application period has already started.
The earlier that information is made available to us, the more time we will have to consider it, which increases the likelihood of a commitment to the program.
Does a business plan need to be drawn up?
No, not for us. The decision is made on the basis of the information in the application form, the transmitted pitch decks or videos as well as personal interviews. However, we are happy if a business plan is already existing.
Who can apply for the Acceleration Program?
We support teams that work on technologies, products, business models and solutions that can be used in agriculture or related areas.
At least two and up to three startup members can participate in the program. At least one of the participating members must have strategic decision-making powers.
As a matter of principle, only limited liability companies (limited liability company or equivalent forms of company abroad) may participate in the program. In exceptional cases other forms of organisation are also accepted. However, such organisations must have been transformed into a limited liability company by the time that a conversion option is granted to the Agro Innovation Lab.
Can individuals participate in the Acceleration Program?
Unfortunately not. However, this may be possible in one of our next programs. If there is any need for this, please let us know.
Can you apply if the company or the founders are not from Austria?
Definitely! There are no restrictions in this regard except that you must be sure that you can come to Austria legally during the program. If you are officially admitted to the program, we can assist you, among other things, in legal matters concerning your stay.
We already had one or more financing rounds and have a market-ready product. Is an application still possible?
By all means. Since the program is adapted individually to the needs of the participating startups, startups can apply in various stages of development.
Startups are also sought which already generate considerable sales and / or have a positive cash flow. In these cases we can help with expanding the market, establishing subsidiary companies or, simply, growing.
We basically see ourselves as a gateway to the market, but also, together with BayWa & RWA, as a potential financing Partner.
Will companies also compete with each other?
As a rule we will try not to incorporate directly competing startups into the same program. However, there is a possibility that competing companies are already in our portfolio. In such a case everything is naturally done to ensure that no sensitive data is exchanged.
What level of services is rendered by Agro Innovation Lab?
These amount to € 35,000 in kind and € 15,000 in financial support. The benefits include all additional services provided in the program.
Are the services rendered to be repaid?
Yes. The repayment of the services rendered (€ 35,000 or € 50,000) is free of interest but indexed in line with the 2017 consumer price index.
Instead of repayment it is also possible to grant us a conversion option. In this case, a conversion into shares of the company equal in value to the last financing round or 3.5% / 5% is foreseen.
Does the Agro Innovation Lab automatically receive shares?
No. If no conversion option is granted, we will not receive any shares. The amount is then simply repaid, free of interest but indexed in line with inflation.
Are there any financing options under the program?
Definitely. As the Agro Innovation Lab pursues the goal of supporting participating startups over the long term in the form of, for example, cooperation or as a financing partner, the granting of the conversion option and the start of financing talks is the first step towards a successful and, above all, sustainable cooperation.
In addition to the opportunity to win the RWA and BayWa Group as a financing partner, we will organise a Demo Day at the end of the program which will attract both angel investors and VCs as well as representatives of public funding agencies to listen to the pitches of our startups.
If, however, the participating startups already have plans for the future and are interested in participation in the program but not a long-term partnership, we promise that we will do everything we can to support these startups with all our energy. It is up to you to decide freely whether a long-term partnership with us is desired or not.
We do not need financial support. Is it still possible to participate in the program?
Yes. The financial support of € 15,000 is optional.
What services / resources are offered in the Acceleration Program?
Detailed information on the services / resources offered can be found on the “Accelerator” page.
How do you deal with confidentiality? Is a declaration of confidentiality signed by Agro Innovation Lab?
In the application phase Agro Innovation Lab does not sign a confidentiality declaration. If, however, we need more sensitive documents in the course of the selection process in order to be able to make a decision on your inclusion in the program we are, of course, ready to conclude a corresponding confidentiality declaration.
Are only startups from the agricultural sector included?
No. We are equally interested in startups working on technologies, solutions or services that could be used for agriculture but have not yet provided an application in this field.
Is moving to Vienna or Munich during the program a prerequisite for participation?
No, a stay in Vienna or Munich for the entire four months is not a prerequisite because the program is divided into modules, only some of which involve mandatory attendance.
Does a company have to be established in Austria to participate in the Acceleration Program?
No, no company has to be established in Austria. However, if the Agro Innovation Lab grants a conversion option, the company must be transformed into a limited liability company.
Where can we stay during the Acceleration Program?
Since the Acceleration Program is divided into modules with individual Acceleration Weeks, permanent accommodation is not required for the duration of the program. Therefore, the Agro Innovation Lab does not provide any accommodation and each startup is left to resolve the housing question. We can, of course, assist you in the search for accommodation during your attendance. It should not be a big problem to find accommodation in Vienna or Munich.
Are you expected to stay in Vienna after the end of the program?
No, but we are happy to assist if a team stays in Vienna for the long term.
On what day and at what exact time does the application phase end?
The application phase for the program in autumn 2017 will end on May 28th 2017 at 23:59 (CEST).
When will I hear if I am included in the program?
We will do our best to inform all applicants whether or not they will be admitted as soon as possible during the multi-stage selection process – and at the latest one month before the start of the program.
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