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White House-backed Accelerator Climate Ventures 2.0 Seeks Agtech Entrepreneurs

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The resources at the disposal of agriculture technology entrepreneurs are growing with the launch of new dedicated accelerators, incubators, and business competitions seemingly every month. And this month is no different.

With the backing of the White House, US social impact-focused early stage ventures acceleration group GoodCompany Ventures has turned its attention towards the global climatic threat on the globe’s food and water systems to launch a new program: Climate Ventures 2.0 (CV2).

“The ag space posits tremendous opportunity for innovation, but neither entrepreneurs nor cities can scale on their own,” said Garrett Melby, founder, and CEO of GoodCompany Ventures. “We have built a streamlined process to surface the most promising innovations from every corner of the globe, accelerate them with world class expertise, and place them in pilots designed to prove out their key assumptions. We think this project will deliver disruptive systems-level change, and we’re thrilled to welcome our first class early next year.”

The 12-week program, which is currently accepting applications, will be run in collaboration with the US government’s Climate Data Initiative (CDI). The CDI was launched in March 2014 as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and it’s an effort to leverage the Federal Government’s climate-relevant data resources to stimulate innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship.

“No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change… We should start acting like it,” said Obama during his State of the Union 2015.

CV2 has and will work with collaborators such as the Wharton Social Impact Initiative and USAID, the government agency, to identify and prioritize key targets for entrepreneurial innovation within food and agriculture. And it will work to source applicants from a range of different business competitions undertaken by other collaborators and participants in the CDI such as NASA and Climate CoLab. These are the first two phases of the program; acceleration comes next in a 12-week program for the 10 selected innovations, involving a curriculum of legal, finance, design and business advice. There will also be site visits to some of the collaborators.

“I learned more in one session at GoodCompany than in whole courses at business school,” said Donnel Baird, founder of BlocPower and an alumnus of a previous GoodCompany program.

The final phase of the program will be the launch of innovations and fundraising. CV2 has raised a $1 million fund to invest into its cohort, investing up to $500k in each innovation for a 1 percent to 10 percent equity stake, but it will aim to support more private sector fundraising through a Demo Day. GoodCompany has in the past facilitated some $60 million of investment for its graduates.

You can find out more about Climate Ventures 2.0 here, and you can apply to the program here

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