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May 22, 2018 | Tom Ballard

AgLaunch, KEC joining forces to host agri-tech bootcamp in July

AgLaunch, the Memphis-based, statewide agricultural innovation program, and the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) have announced a one-week agri-tech bootcamp that will be held in mid-July in Knoxville.

Up to eight teams will be accepted for the program that runs July 9 through 13 on the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture campus in Knoxville. During the five days, organizers say that teams will experience best-in-class agricultural entrepreneurship programming and have access to investors, mentors, and farmers.

“KEC is excited to be partnering again with AgLaunch to support ag-related start-ups in Tennessee,” said Jim Biggs, KEC Executive Director. “Our AgWorks accelerator program was a great success last summer, and we are looking forward to working with a a new crop of ag entrepreneurs this year.  We are particularly grateful to the UT Institute of Agriculture, the UT Research Foundation, and the Anderson Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for their collaboration in this summer’s program.”

To be eligible for consideration, AgLaunch Bootcamp applicants must be located in Tennessee and fall into one of these groups:

  • Small start-up companies operating in the agricultural sector;
  • Existing companies that are creating new innovations or product lines; or
  • Student or faculty teams that are developing new innovations in agriculture.

“AgLaunch Bootcamp applicants should be focused on addressing real problems in agriculture in Tennessee within the crops and livestock sector,” according to Pete Nelson, AgLaunch President. Possible topics include but are not limited to: automation & robotics, solutions to issues such as spray drift & herbicide resistant weeds, financing approaches, water and nitrogen management, innovative livestock production technologies, food traceability and food safety, market access, and new equipment.

Teams that do well in the program will have the opportunity to participate in AgLaunch365 programming during the fall of 2018 and be considered for investment from Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV, a $31 Million venture fund backed by eight Farm Credit Banks focused on agriculture innovation.

Application deadline is 5 p.m. EDT June 8. To apply, click here.

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