Munich/Vienna, 28/06/2018 – Agro Innovation Lab (AIL), the joint innovation platform of BayWa AG and RWA Raiffeisen Ware Austria AG, has nominated the nine start-ups that will enter the final round of this year’s Acceleration & Market Entry programme. The finalists will run through an onboarding phase in July to determine the final participants in this year’s Acceleration & Market Entry programme. In minimum six of the nine finalists will then start into the five-month programme in September. Since 2016, the AIL has been organising a competition every year with the aim of identifying agricultural innovations early on and making them available to the agricultural sector by promoting promising start-ups.
This year, 252 start-ups from 53 countries applied to take part. A selection was invited to the “Finalist Days” in Munich from 26th to 28th June to present their business models. The selected start-ups cover a great variety of agricultural topics, ranging from innovations for a reduced application of fertiliser and pesticides to cloud-based agricultural platforms. One of the start-ups, for example, developed a solar-powered automatic lawn mower as an alternative to glyphosate. Other projects include a feed silo sensor for automatic filling level detection and refilling as well as a fitness and health tracker for horses which documents and analyses the animals’ movements.
“The great variety of business models demonstrates how diverse innovations in the agricultural sector are and what large potential is behind them,” says Reinhard Bauer, Director of the Agro Innovation Lab. “It makes me proud that a similar number of start-ups have applied for the current programme round as in 2017. Compared to the previous years, we have changed the selection criteria slightly and explicitly addressed those start-ups that have already convinced first customers and would now like to expand their business on a national and international basis.”
Since the AIL was founded in 2016, more than 650 start-ups from around 70 countries have applied to participate in the Acceleration programme. Ten young companies have successfully completed the programme. For two start-ups, this has led to an investment or a cooperation with BayWa and RWA. In addition, the AIL is currently negotiating investments or cooperations with three further companies.
Antje Krieger, BayWa AG, Head of PR/Corporate Communications/Public Affairs