We have an exciting diversity of business plans for GROW this year from the novel fruit crops to wearable devices for livestock, from soil sensors to multi-spectral imaging, and including new approaches to reducing waste in the value-chain. The finalists are to present at Throws Farm on 22nd June.
Michael Lee, Managing Director at Syngenta Ventures, will be talking about his recent investments and the appetite for ‘game changing’ technology.
The selection of finalists for GROW has been completed and it is now time for the judges to make their decisions.
The plans have been developed with the support of mentors providing invaluable feedback and support. It is not expected that entrepreneurs will get it right first time – in fact its very rare.
So to be able to have an objective experienced business person acting as a sounding board is a useful learning experience, as one of last year’s finalists, Andrew Spinks of B&C Farming, explains here.
The ability to listen and take on board advice is highly rated by the judging panel, which includes:
- Cambridge Angel Peter Cowley (pictured right at VentureFest East 2016)
- organic farmer, investor and entrepreneur William Kendall
- Velcourt Technical Director Keith Norman
- BBRO Head of Knowledge Exchange Simon Bowen
- Innovate UK’s Calum Murray
They will be looking for an entrepreneur or team with drive and commitment and an exciting and viable business concept. They will also be giving guidance to the entrepreneurs on what potential investors and corporate partners would be looking for.
This year the UK’s only Agri-Tech business plan competition is kindly supported by Innovate UK. The organisation has supported over 7,000 companies over the last few years and returns £7.30 for every £1 it invests. Much of this is inward investment so it makes a good contribution to the UK economy.
Peter Cowley recently spoke at VentureFest East about how to charm (or irritate) angels and you can see his advice here.
Dr Ruth McKernan CBE, Chief Executive of Innovate UK, also gave a useful overview of InnovateUK, which you can see here.
The GROW final, hosted by Agrii, will be at Throws Farm Technology Centre on 22 June 2016, where the finalists will present their business plans to the judges in front of a select group of industry leaders and investors. If you’d like to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place.