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Ullmanna, an agritech startup from the Czech Republic, Verdefood, a Romanian marketplace, and Proofminder, a Hungarian platform for artificial intelligence in precision agriculture, are the winners of the first edition of Nextcelerator, the agriculture acceleration programme run by Agricover, SeedBlink and Microsoft.
The programme included mentoring sessions to diagnose gaps and development opportunities for startups, which then receive appropriate support in the form of training, business planning, mentoring and learning, and an introduction to the ins and outs of agriculture.
"Nextcelerator was created to recognise and support founders and solutions that are innovative and contribute to a sustainable model in the region CEE, as this sector is one of the pillars of the European economy and security. We were impressed by the motivation, pitch, development and interest of the finalists who share the vision of technologized agriculture and a positive social impact of their solutions. Together with our partners Agricover and Microsoft, we will continue to support startups in their challenges," said Andrei Dudoiu, Managing Partner of SeedBlink.
"We are pleased with the success of the program, which attracted participants from Central and Eastern Europe. We have seen many good ideas and valuable agritech solutions for the development of sustainable agriculture and the digitalization of agriculture. We thank our partners SeedBlink and Microsoft for this good project and assure all participants of our continued support. These results encourage us to look forward to future editions," said Liviu Dobre, Managing Director of Agricover Holding.
The overall goal of this programme is to strengthen the capacity of Central and Eastern European agri-tech startups and entrepreneurs so that they have greater potential to generate sustainable revenue, and to match them with partners for investment in growth capital to advance their development plans.
After Demo Day and the announcement of the winners, attendees summarised the benefits of the programme: the opportunity to connect directly with industry specialists, investment readiness, 1:1 connection and mentoring, direct feedback, and connection with founders facing similar vertical challenges beyond the program.
“We have farmers on our team, and that's so significant because our solution makes their lives so much easier. We are also thrilled to be endorsed and recognised by the three partners: Agricover, Microsoft and SeedBlink, and I encourage startup founders to participate in such specialised accelerators to really develop. Nextcelerator has provided us with business support, expertise, industry knowledge and networks - which I find really valuable.” said Martin Ullmann, founder of Ullmanna.
The 10 finalists had access to group mentoring sessions, as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions focused on entrepreneurial skills such as developing a business model, funding a business, and planning for launch, as well as a series of unique masterclasses tailored to the startup’s needs.
1st place - Ullmanna has developed a hardware product that attaches to tractors to cut weeds in the row. The product comes from the Czech Republic. The product detects the plant and decides whether to cut it or not. It provides an environmentally friendly solution to herbicides and dramatically decrease the amount of manual weeding in organic farming.
2nd place - Verdefood is a Romanian marketplace that connects local farmers around Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca with the local demand for fresh vegetables and fruits. In addition, the platform provides farmers with tools to better manage their supply processes.
3rd place - Proofminder is a Hungarian AI platform for precision agriculture – crop/leaf monitoring for farmers as a SaaS platform with drone production partners. The platform targets large agribusinesses in CEE, seed producers, apple growers (& fruit tree growers) and other market players.
Fifty AgriTech startups in Central and Eastern Europe signed up for Nextcelerator. Startups selected include marketplace projects, agrifood projects, and farm process optimization projects, most of them already post-revenue, with traction under their belt and the intention to refine their product and scale it in broader geographies.
Agricover is the leader of the agribusiness market in Romania, driving innovative solutions that transform the business and farmers’ life on the long run, creating progress and prosperity at a social scale.
Right from its establishment, the Agricover Group aimed at serving the Romanian farmers and providing them with innovative solutions, so that they may strengthen their productivity in a sustainable manner, by having access to performant agricultural technologies on an international level, financing solutions adapted to the specifics of the agricultural area and digital agriculture services.
Agricover Holding SA includes Agricover SA (specializing in the distribution of agricultural technologies), Agricover Credit IFN SA (the non-banking financial institution specializing in farmers’ funding) and Agricover Technology SRL through which the Group provides the farmers with access to the latest innovations in the world digital agriculture, thus facilitating them the transformation of the way they carry out their daily business, so that they can make real-time decisions.
Agricover. The next generation in agribusiness.
SeedBlink is the fastest growing investing platform specialized in sourcing, vetting, financing, and scaling European tech start-ups. Our vision is to shape Europe’s tech future by creating an investment platform that has the reach of crowdfunding, the flexibility of angel investors, and the structure of venture capital.
SeedBlink's community is at the heart of the platform's success, along with a rigorous selection of technology pre-seed and seed start-ups & their passionate teams. We aim to open investments in start-ups to real people and do this by building a modern platform, a tech savvy community, and the network and expertise to grow companies post investment.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
PublishedSeptember 16, 2022
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