Innovators invited to apply for agri-tech accelerator programme

The University of Lincoln, and Barclays Eagle Labs have joined forces to launch a 10-week virtual accelerator to help early stage agricultural technology businesses to drive innovation in the sector.

The programme is open to entrepreneurs in the UK’s agri-tech sector who have a promising business plan and early stage (0-3 years) agri-tech businesses with the desire to grow.

The accelerator is fully funded and will include a series of half-day virtual workshops, focused on business skills, including developing a business model, financing a business and planning a route to market.

In addition, each business accepted into the programme will receive tailored support and resources with a specialist mentor and a series of masterclasses tailored to their needs. These could address a wide range of topics such as selling to farmers, partnerships, developing new technology and artificial intelligence in farming.

Participants will also have access to the facilities and services of the new Barclays Eagle Lab Farm, based at the University of Lincoln’s Riseholme campus. This houses cutting-edge agri-tech resources, including a dedicated robotics lab, a demonstration pack-house and a model refrigerated supermarket aisle. Participants will also benefit from the UK-wide Eagle Labs network with access to community events.

At the end of the programme, participants will be invited to take part in a showcase to demonstrate their business, product or service, and to pitch to a panel of selected prospective investors.

Mark Suthern, National Head of Agriculture at Barclays, said: “Barclays has a long history of supporting UK agricultural and with the help of the University of Lincoln, we want to drive the sort of innovation that will put UK farming at the forefront globally. I urge any early stage agri-tech entrepreneur to go online and find out more – I can’t wait to see what kind of businesses sign up.”

Simon Pearson, Director of the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology, said: “Agriculture has been at the heart of Lincolnshire’s economy for decades and the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology is here to ensure that farming and food production make the most of the technological advances on offer. The partnership of LIAT with Barclays Eagle Labs offers early stage agri-tech businesses with unparalleled access to business support, expertise, facilities, research and know-how and we can’t wait to get started.”

The programme will run from February. For more information and details about how to apply go to  Accelerator.

If you are interested in learning about how technology is revolutionising agriculture, read our latest article for our Focus on Data Diagnostics: The Rise of the Digital Farm, by Keith Norman.

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