Vienna/Munich, 2 May 2018 – Applications for this year’s Acceleration & Market Entry Programme offered by the Agro Innovation Lab (AIL) have now closed, with a wave of last minute applications received just before the deadline. 252 startups from 53 countries have submitted an application this year, almost the same number of young companies that applied in 2017. This year, the programme was recalibrated, specifically targeting start-ups that have already convinced first customers with their innovation and would like to grow their business both
domestically and globally. The joint innovation platform offered by BayWa AG and RWA Raiffeisen Ware Austria AG started the competition in 2016. The objective is the early identification of innovations for the agricultural sector and to support the most promising start-ups regarding their further development and market strategies.
38 out of the 252 applying start-ups are based in the USA, making it the leader of the top ten countries of origin. India follows on the second place with 33 and Germany takes place three with 22 start-ups. Applications were received from companies on all continents. 43 percent of applicants are headquartered in Europe. By far the highest number of applications was submitted for the agriculture technology field with 173 entrants, with many entries in the fields of organic agriculture, crop production overall, nutrition and trade of produce.
Over the next few days, the AIL will internally select the 100 most promising start-ups. The first milestones in the competition among the remaining young companies will be their remote pitches, which are scheduled for June. In their pitch, the competing companies will be asked to convince their potential mentors for the Acceleration & Market Entry Programme in a presentation only lasting a few minutes. The finalists will then be invited to the next round, the Finalist Days in Munich. We will know the names of the start-ups that will have made it into this year's programme in August 2018.
BayWa AG, Head of PR/Corporate Communications/Public Affairs