Image credit: RomoloTavani / iStock

Introducing GROW2Asia: A fast-track for Australian agrifood innovators to scale into Asia remotely

July 13, 2021

In a commitment to help Australian ag, food, and beverage innovators expand into Asia, Food Futures Company and GROW have partnered to launch GROW2Asia with the support of Austrade‘s Landing Pads initiative.

This tripartite collaboration forms a direct link between Australia and Singapore, providing market-specific internationalization assistance to raise the profile of Australian food and agriculture innovation among food manufacturers, agribusinesses, and investors in Southeast Asia.

The six-month program is integrated with GROW’s Land x Launch™ platform, allowing Australian entrepreneurs to capitalize on GROW’s extensive partner network throughout the region.

Asia is expected to be home to 5 billion people by 2050, accounting for 60% of global food consumption. To meet this demand, governments across Southeast Asia are aggressively pursuing strategies to ensure greater food security. This includes active support for agrifood entrepreneurs who can help grow the local ecosystem by establishing themselves in the region.

However, Australian companies which see opportunities for expansion face challenges in the fragmentation and complexity of Asian markets. These have only been amplified by the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions on business travel.

GROW2Asia overcomes these hurdles by filling the knowledge gap and providing on-the-ground support in Asia, allowing Australian companies to gain traction internationally while building their businesses remotely from home.

Delivered virtually, GROW2Asia is a program designed for the ‘next normal’ of Covid-19. It will start in Australia to help selected companies validate their market fit and co-develop a roadmap to establish their in-market presence. Recognizing the uncertainties of travel, the program offers a variety of options to allow companies to grow their team and presence in Asia – physically or remotely. It will include access to Food Futures Company’s and GROW’s extensive regional and international networks of mentors and experts, research partners, and corporate customers.

“Austrade will provide customized support to GROW2Asia participants, focused on advice and ecosystem connections across Southeast Asia. It is a great opportunity to be working with GROW2Asia as part of our Landing Pads program for fast-growing, innovative Australian businesses,” says Amelia Walsh, trade and investment commissioner, Austrade Singapore.

Joshua Soo, CEO, GROW, adds: “Entrepreneurs will ‘land’ digitally in Singapore to adapt their businesses, before launching into their identified new market. The platform plugs companies into the local agrifoodtech ecosystem and connects founders with their counterparts from around the world who are looking to do the same in Asia.”

“We see enormous growth opportunities for Australian agrifood businesses in Asia, and Singapore is well-positioned as the gateway to launch into the ASEAN region,” says Christine Pitt, co-founder and CEO, Food Futures Company. “It has a proactive and supportive government that understands the role of startups; there is a young and well-educated pool of talent to tap into; and it is an easy and friendly place to do business. We see heaps of energy and more and more global players and investors being attracted to the region.”

Applications to the six-month GROW2Asia program are open until 22 August 2021. Interested parties can find more details and apply at www.foodfutures.com.au/grow2asia.

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