GROW was launched by Agri-TechE (then Agri-Tech East) in 2015 as the UK’s first Agri-Tech Business Plan Competition, and is aimed at encouraging entrepreneurial thinking into the industry and welcoming applications around new ideas supporting agriculture and horticulture.
Read more about GROW on the GROW page, including information about the winner of the 2019/20 competition. Find out more about the judges and prizes below.
GROW 2019/20 Judges
Innovation Lead, Innovate UK
Andrew is Innovation Lead for the ISCF Transforming Food Production Challenge. He has a background in agribusiness research and B2B marketing.
Prior to joining Innovate UK, Andrew worked as a strategy consultant for Promar International, the consulting arm of Genus Plc, completing market research, strategy and validation projects across a wide range of industry sectors and countries. Andrew has also held international marketing roles for Australian agri-food organisations including Dairy Australia and Australian Pork Limited. Andrew started his career as a dairy farm advisor in Taranaki, New Zealand.
Programme Leader, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform, Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency; its sustainable agriculture and food programme aims to increase productivity while reducing environmental impacts.
Calum studied agriculture and joined ADAS as a farm business adviser covering the Brecklands. After a while in Scotland as a national agricultural specialist for the Bank of Scotland he was transferred back to East Anglia. More recently he joined Innovate UK and has been actively involved in a number of key initiatives such as “Feeding the Future – Innovation requirements for primary food production in the UK to 2030” and as a member of the working group that developed the “UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies” launched in 2013.
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, IQ Capital
Kerry has over 20 years’ venture capital experience, starting with Venture Technologies, a $50m deep tech fund in 1997 achieving high profile exits including Autonomy (IPO), Whereonearth (Yahoo), Trustbase (SunMicrosytems) and Durlacher (IPO). She also worked with an Italian Venture Capital Fund before co-founding IQ Capital.
Kerry focuses on product, market strategy and team dynamics. She sits on several boards including BMLL, Apperio, Bloomsbury AI, KisanHub and Divido and led Sirigen’s exit (Beckton Dickinson). Kerry sits on the BVCA Venture Capital Committee and is a Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge University, Judge Business School.
MD of Silfield Ltd, and Board Director at the AF Group
Rob worked in the City for 18 years, before going back to the family business Silfield Ltd, based south of Norwich. Silfield produces wheat, barley, oilseed rape, peas and potatoes across 1700 acres. Silfield also has a Red Poll beef herd and has diversified into property management.
Rob built up years of experience in corporate finance at the likes of Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and NatWest before he managed Silfield Ltd full-time. He is also a Board Director at the AF Group.
GROW 2019/20 Prizes
A free day of consultancy
To support Agri-Tech East’s GROW competition, Agro Mavens is offering one winner a fee-free day of consultancy through its newly launched AgPRelude service. Aimed specifically at start-ups and early-stage companies, it’s a menu-driven, pick-and-choose communications and marketing package. Designed to help young companies build confidence in their marketing strategies, it combines expert knowledge and sector-specific creative activity with an agile, commitment-free approach to outsourcing marketing.
In addition to the prize, Agro Mavens will offer the winner 10% discount on any further work instructed within six months.
Agro Mavens is a marketing agency working exclusively with innovators in agriculture and agri-tech. It helps companies to grow market presence and connect with their customers, changing and shaping perceptions and behaviour, and effecting change to drive demand. Whether strategic consulting, brand development, content creation or technical copywriting, its client experience includes crop protection, animal health, nutrition, machinery and a variety of agri-tech applications.
Allia Future Business Centre
Two months’ access to co-working space at Allia Future Business Centre Cambridge, plus five hours of meeting room use
Allia Future Business Centres are a community for start-ups and companies that are creating solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. Their Future Business Centres provide flexible workspace, workshops and makerspaces, plus event and meeting rooms. In addition to inspiring workspace, they also offer venture support programmes and mentoring to early-stage start-ups to accelerate their success and growth.
Allia Future Business Centres are passionate about the protecting the future, so they empower those whose innovations address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, creating social and environmental change at a local or global level. Their innovation centres are strong communities where ventures feel at home and are supported so they can thrive and grow, creating job opportunities and greater positive impact.
IP advice and support
Appleyard Lees is a leading intellectual property law firm, with over 50 patent and trademark attorneys and litigators. With offices in UK innovation hotspots, including Cambridge, it is positioned to give clients expert strategic IP advice in the UK and worldwide.
Appleyard Lees’ team of patent attorneys have a deep knowledge of agri-tech related technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, plant biology, agrochemicals and biological crop protection. This includes attorneys with PhD degrees in subject matters, including plant science and machine learning.
A number of our attorneys have previously worked in-house with UK companies and are particularly experienced in providing commercially relevant advice to their clients.
Its attorneys handle all IP matters, including drafting and filing patent applications, registering trade marks and advising on third party rights.
As a prize in GROW competition, Appleyard Lees is offering IP advice and support. This could be used in drawing up an IP strategy as part of your business plan, help with drafting and filing a patent, trademarking advice or research into the competitive IP landscape. For any additional work over and above the value of the prize, we will also offer a 10% discount on our fees.
One month club membership at an Eagle Lab of the winners choice
Eagle Labs are a growing national network of incubator spaces that provide business incubation, mentoring and co-working and office space for ambitious high-growth businesses as well as digital skills development and rapid prototyping through onsite digital fabrication equipment and Industry 4.0 expertise at many sites.
By cultivating a community of likeminded entrepreneurs through a providing a collaborative work environment, access to their peers and opportunities to maximise growth through digital connections, curated events and funding opportunities, Eagle Labs are able to help start-ups to grow at pace.
Eagle Labs also specialise in positively disrupting key industries by bringing together key corporate players, industry bodies, leading universities and start-ups to enable rapid innovation and investment by asking them to collaborate and currently have dedicated LawTech, HealthTech and AgriTech industry-aligned programmes.
With 25 Eagle Labs across the country and more in the pipeline, their focus is to help to connect, educate and accelerate ambitious UK businesses and entrepreneurs.
Cambridge Judge Business School
A free place on the Ignite Course.
Ignite is a five and half day course which runs every summer at Cambridge Judge Business School. The programme is a structured blend of: keynotes by faculty, practical teaching sessions with industry specialists, one-to-one clinics and mentor sessions. This is augmented by access to a rich network of experienced entrepreneurs and innovators from the Cambridge ecosystem. The experience provides participants with the tools, contacts and confidence to transform ideas into successful business projects or ventures.
The Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School aims to inspire, enable and research entrepreneurship. The Centre encompasses the full entrepreneurial journey – starting with the empowerment of aspiring entrepreneurs through to the creation and development of early-stage ventures, all the way to small and medium size enterprise growth.
Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub (NIAB)
6 months’ free license at the Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub
Demonstrating new processes or using the field experimentation facilities as test beds for the latest technologies all fall into the Hub’s remit. Hub users have access to research and business development support, enabling them to introduce novel products and new growing techniques, and to improve productivity and waste reduction.
The Eastern AgriGate Research Hub was set up in 2015 to address the need for growth and development in the horticultural production area in the Fenlands around Soham, and to seek ways of improving sustainable use of resources; including reducing or improving utilisation of the waste streams generated by the farming industry and supply chains.
The Hub is more than just a physical space. It offers businesses an open forum to discuss ideas, get the latest results from research, and find ways to access support and funding streams for further development.
12 weeks (three months) of hot-desk space, and an initial business consultation
Incubyte is delighted to offer the GROW competition winner 12 weeks of complementary hot-desk space located in the co-working hub of IncubyteSpace, alongside an initial business consultation with CEO Rob Precious.
Rob launched Incubyte, the business incubator, in 2017. He is now a consultant, Angel Investor and Advisor to a number of exciting technology start-ups spanning media and entertainment as well as agri-tech.
Additional benefits of the prized hot-desking include:
- Free membership to the onsite health and fitness club
- 10% discount to the onsite cafe and bistro
Incubyte provides entrepreneurs and early stage companies with a dedicated co-working environment in which they can work alongside, and network with, like-minded businesses. Mentoring programmes designed specifically for entrepreneurs working in agri-tech and other deep tech sectors make Incubyte the perfect business incubator for start-ups and scale-ups who seek professional and expert advice.
Kendalls PR & Marketing
PR Consultation and Audit to the value of £1,500
The winner of the Agri-Tech East GROW Business Plan Competition will receive a PR Consultation and Audit, to the value of £1,500. Kendalls will work with the winner to provide PR and Marketing expertise, constructing a PR strategy and plan for a 12 month period.
The prize is valid for 12 months after the day it is awarded and excludes travel expenses.
Kendalls PR & Marketing specialises in agriculture, rural affairs and associated industries, offering a fully integrated range of PR and marketing services, specialising in media relations, issues management, public relations, digital marketing and event management.
Kendalls has a wide range of clients throughout the agricultural, horticultural and land-based sectors, from environment and energy to animal health and arable. As well as looking after clients connected with food, farming and the countryside, their client base also extends to government bodies and agencies, charities, professional firms, local authorities, small businesses and multi-nationals, drawn from a wide range of disciplines.
Mathys & Squire
IP advice and support
Ranked Tier 1 by Legal 500, Mathys & Squire is a world-leading specialist Intellectual Property (IP) firm, providing Patent, Trade Mark, Design and Litigation services in all technology sectors including Life Sciences, Chemistry, IT and Engineering, as well as advising on and filing plant variety rights.
Mathys & Squire has an impressive global client base and act for large UK and multinational clients, as well as smaller start-ups, university spin-outs and technology transfer organisations. They work with a number of agricultural companies, such as Syngenta, Neudorff, Seasol, and Nufarm Australia Ltd. The team has extensive experience in this field, including PhD-level crop research experience in collaboration with multinational agricultural companies.
Norwich Research Park
Virtual tenancy at Centrum, Norwich Research Park
Norwich Research Park is delighted to offer this prize to Agri-Tech East’s GROW Business Plan Competition 2020 winners! A virtual tenancy at Norwich Research Park can help your business to communicate professionalism, establish a local presence and support early growth. This unique prize includes:
- £400 (inc VAT) towards meeting room hire in Centrum, Norwich Research Park’s award-winning hub building
- £200 (inc VAT) towards catering
- 20% discount on meeting room hire (not to be used in conjunction with £400 room hire prize)
- Your business name featured on the Centrum building’s Tenancy Board
- Prime business address on Norwich Research Park and your business details featured on the NRP website
- Mail and package receipt and reception services
- Informal client drop-off/pick-up point
From the soil to human health, Norwich Research Park’s vision is to change lives and rethink society through pioneering research and innovation, reframing the future of research.
NRP has over 3,000 scientists, researchers and clinicians working at the cutting edge of understanding human, plant and soil health, food production and synthetic biology. They are part of a unique community that includes a major university teaching hospital (the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), a leading university (the University of East Anglia) and four internationally significant research institutes: John Innes Centre, Quadram Institute, Earlham Institute and The Sainsbury Laboratory. Taken together, they form one of Europe’s largest centres for research, innovation, education and commercialisation in the food and health sector.
Free two-hour sessions with a finance partner and with an R&D specialist
PwC is offering a free two hour session with an experienced Finance partner to help the winner meet their accounting requirements, as well as a free two hour session with an R&D specialist to help optimise tax credits.
My Financepartner is PwC’s tailored accounting service for ambitious start-ups and fast growing businesses that demand more. Unlike most accountants, My Financepartner is designed to work as an extension to an existing finance team or as an alternative to hiring one at all.
In addition, PwC is offering access to Nifty R&D with 50% off the standard fee. Nifty R&D is a PwC-powered online tool that helps small businesses apply for Research & Development Tax Credits in the UK whilst having access to experience R&D claim professionals. The winner would need to register an account with PwC and answer a few simple questions for PwC to review and complete the claim.
PwC is passionate about start-ups and scale-ups. Working across artificial intelligence, life sciences and AgriTech industry sectors, its clients range from SMEs to some of the most recognised businesses in Cambridge and the South East region.
Redfox Executive Selection
Psychometric testing for up to four people
The team at Redfox Executive Selection are very pleased to offer the opportunity to deploy up to four industry leading Psychometric test reports for your team. Many HR and Development professionals increasingly rely on online conducted psychometrics to play a crucial role in identifying the best candidates or spotting top talent within your business by their use. They can be used to select outstanding talent, learn what motivates those who work in your organisation, understand the strengths and development needs of your people, and standardise your selection/development processes to make them more objective and robust.
Redfox is a Recruitment Consultancy working with key Agri-Business and Fresh Food businesses in the UK and internationally to source the highest calibre mid-management to Board level individuals across all disciplines.
Six months’ free hot-desking
Rothamsted Enterprises prize of six months’ free hot-desking allows users up to 20 hours of hot-desking space per month at the Rothamsted AgriTech Business Centre.
At the heart of agricultural research, Rothamsted Enterprises is a unique hub focused on promoting collaboration and innovation by partnering with commercial agri-tech businesses and opening up the research process.
Rothamsted Enterprises is located on the same campus as Rothamsted Research’s many scientists, so can offer tenant companies access to award-winning expertise in a range of disciplines from genomics to field ecology, and, with their extensive national and international network of collaborative organisations, Rothamsted Enterprises is the perfect partner for collaboration and innovation plans.
Satellite Applications Catapult
Two days of technical consultancy with a leading expert in Earth Observation
The Satellite Applications Catapult is offering two days of technical consultancy with a leading expert in Earth Observation. The Catapult is offering the winner consultancy around the use and exploitation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data for agricultural applications. Consultancy can include aspects such as training around the basic of SAR, processing and analysis of the data, as well as evaluation of current processing chains and algorithms.
The Satellite Applications Catapult exists to boost UK productivity by helping organisations harness the power of satellite-based services. Their Agriculture strategy is committed to the creation and development of truly sustainable global agri-food supply chains empowered by satellite enabled solutions. With a focus on global sustainable supply chains and high value production, their vision is to unlock industry led commercialisation of satellite enabled products and services through exploiting the Catapult’s non-competitive, neutral trusted status to create strategic partnerships delivering growth and jobs to UK businesses.