CEDA talks with Dean Tilyard, Chief Executive of Sprout, a Manawatū based business accelerator for future food and agritech start-ups that help entrepreneurs grow global businesses.
Kia ora kautou,
We’re excited to start the new year by acknowledging that New Zealand and Manawatū’s international reputation as a leader in the agritech and future food sector has just taken another leap forward – Callaghan Innovation has partnered with Sprout to become one of its Technology Incubators.
This is big news for Manawatū as the announcement cements Sprout in a leadership position for agritech and future food seed and venture funding. Sprout will invest nationally and will expand its activity headquartered in The Factory on the Food HQ campus. This will increase Manawatū’s attractiveness to other technology investors, start-ups seeking the ideal location and tech professionals looking for opportunities.
This partnership will provide a significant boost to the region as the investor group backing Sprout includes two iconic New Zealand companies, Fonterra and Gallagher, as well as global venture capital firm Finistere Ventures and Israel’s most active venture investor, OurCrowd.
The Technology Incubator scheme significantly increases the amount of capital available for early stage agritech and future food start-ups. So, what does this mean? Basically, each time Sprout and its partners invest $250,000 into an agritech start-up, Callaghan will also provide the start-up with a repayable loan of $750,000 supplying the start-up with $1m of seed investment. Our investor group have the resources to complete up to 40 seed investments.
Sprout and CEDA have been actively working together for several years and recently co-developed the Manawatū Agritech Strategy, the first of its kind for regional New Zealand. With the shared objective of building agrifood tech activity in this region, our future looks set for growth.
We are focused on the future as 2020 looks bright with growth opportunities for our region and New Zealand.
Sprout Chief Executive