It is now widely recognized that global food systems are both a key cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and stand to be deeply destabilized by climate change. It’s clear that more committed action needs to be taken across the entire agrifood value chain; we need to accelerate wide-ranging changes not just in how we farm, but in how we process, package, transport, consume, and dispose of our food.
The world urgently needs to address this “cow in the room.” At GROW, we believe that each of us has a role to play in spurring more sustainable, resilient, and just food systems. This is why we are now inviting applications for the third cohort of the GROW Impact Accelerator to supercharge emerging foodtech and agtech startups tackling the world’s biggest challenges around climate impact and food system sustainability.
The 20-week GROW Impact Accelerator, backed by AgFunder’s GROW Impact Fund, provides teams with the personal and commercial support they need to scale up rapidly and create lasting positive change across the globe. Among other benefits, participating startups will receive investment of up to $100,000 in cash and $100,000 in-kind, on founder-friendly terms. If travel conditions are amenable, the program will be delivered in hybrid format, both in-person and virtually from GROW headquarters in Singapore.
Applicants should at minimum have an MVP, be well on the way to establishing product-market fit, and be operating in at least one market. Our interests stretch end-to-end across the agrifood value chain, with a focus on technologies that allow for scalability while delivering tangible impact at either an environmental or social level. Areas of particular interest for our 2022 intake include (but are not limited to):
- Biotech and digitalization to advance sustainable agriculture;
- Circular economies (eg, sustainable materials and closed-loop production systems);
- Climate-smart agriculture and aquaculture (technologies for carbon emissions reduction, regenerative agriculture, water use);
- Alternative proteins, innovative foods, and novel ingredients;
- Food waste valorization and mitigation;
- Supply chain rationalization;
- Technologies to support smallholder farmers (eg, robotics, decision support, chemical reduction, financial inclusion).
Nineteen companies have graduated from the GROW Impact Accelerator since its first cohort launched in 2019, cumulatively raising over $30 million of funding. Twelve of those companies have at least one female founder, and we remain committed to having as diverse representation in our cohorts as possible.
JT Solis, CEO and co-founder of Philippine farm produce marketplace Mayani and an alumnus of the 2021 GROW Impact Accelerator, said: “A great degree of intentionality around innovation-building, deep social capital within the agrifood sector, and the backing of the world’s most reputable agrifoodtech venture firm – this is the value we got from GROW. Every startup needs that inflection point in their path to growth, and we achieved that when Mayani became a part of this accelerator.”