Event looks for next big ag technology start-up

24 Hour Startup AgTech is coming to Canada’s Farm Show in Regina, which will be held virtually June 16-17. | Screencap via cultivator.ca

Farmers have the chance to pitch the next great ag-tech start-up and help solve everyday challenges in the agriculture industry.

24 Hour Startup AgTech is coming to Canada’s Farm Show in Regina, which will be held virtually June 16-17.

“24 Hour Startup AgTech is a virtual event designed to bring together individuals from the agriculture technology, business and design industries to solve real ag problems by creating an ag tech start-up in less than 24 hours,” said Jordan McFarlan, manager at Cultivator, the business incubator created by Conexus Credit Union to help companies launch and grow in Saskatchewan.

“We feel ag is such an innovative industry and it always has been. Farmers build solutions to their own problems all the time and we thought about how cool it would be if we could give farmers access to developers and designers to build the solutions that matter to them and to solve their problems and just get more individuals excited about ag and about agricultural technology opportunities,” he said.

Participants will be divided up into six teams and have 24 hours to build a minimum viable product (MVP) for the ag tech idea they’ve been working on, which will include a variety of things such as customer validation, execution, and design and business model.

The event is focused on exploring a new business from the ground up with a collaborative buy-in from all team members.

While it’s not mandatory for attendance, participants are encouraged to pitch an idea. They have 60 seconds to persuade other attendees to join their team.

A group of mentors and experts with ag and technology backgrounds from across North America will be standing by to assist teams work through their project and solve problems.

After 24 hours, each team will have three minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of judges for a chance to win up to $7,000 in prize money.

The three judges include Anita Wortzman, president of Farmers Edge, Kristjan Hebert of Hebert Grain Ventures, and Sean O’Connor, managing director of EmmerTech, an ag-tech venture capital fund.

McFarlan said anyone from across Canada can join and experience what it’s like to build a start-up from scratch.

Participants will need a computer and good internet connection and there is a $25 participation fee.

For more information, visit Cultivator.ca.

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