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The world’s leading food and agtech start-ups to gather for Sydney demoday

By Gerald Ainomugisha
5 July 2019

This article was originally published on Food Magazine.

SparkLabs Cultiv8, the startup food and agtech accelerator, has announced that the world’s leading food and agricultural technology start-ups will gather in Sydney on Tuesday 10 September at its annual demoday.

SparkLabs Cultiv8 Demoday has become a must-see event which brings together the brightest entrepreneurs, most inspirational investors, corporate executives, media and government leaders all focused on changing the way we create, distribute and consume food with sustainability as a key driver.

Experts from various fields will also share insights and the latest global tech trends.

What is demoday?
“Demoday is an event showcasing new products, services and business models developed by start-ups to attract investment and funding.

“It’s an opportunity for start-ups who have been through the SparkLabs Cultiv8 Accelerator Program to highlight their vision and the impact their businesses are creating,” says Guy Hudson, Managing Director, SparkLabsCultiv8.

The companies receive an investment of up to $100,000 seed funding from the $10 million SparkLabs Cultiv8 fund, which brings the fund’s portfolio to 16 companies.

The companies benefit from the resources of Asia’s largest accelerator group, SparkLabs and the NSW Department of Primary Industries with cohort participants able to access the space and resources of the Global AgTech Ecosystem (GATE) located in Orange, New South Wales.

Who is participating this year?
The companies in the 2019 SparkLabs Cultiv8 cohort hail from Australia, the US and Saudi Arabia and follow in the footsteps of the first cohort of SparkLabs Cultiv8 companies which graduated last year.

These have since enjoyed spectacular success raising a total of $33 million since their inception, and now signing strong international sales and partnerships with leading companies.

This year’s companies participating in Demoday include:


InnerPlant – the world’s first biosensor sentinel plant platform, developed by a US-based startup, that senses plant changes at a molecular level, alerting farmers to allow instant action.

Oaesis – based in Saudi Arabia, Oaesis is developing laser-based lighting systems for indoor farming that dramatically improve efficiency and reduce energy and watering costs.

MPT – an Australia-based business using sensors located in specially designed farm equipment to measure moisture in soil, collecting data that can be used to optimise planting and yields.

SIPP – an Australian company changing the way we think about coffee. They’ve developed a unique range of functional beverages packaged in sustainable home compostable packaging with $1 from every pouch sold donated to Wildark, an organisation dedicated to making our planet more sustainable.

The Training Paddock – an Australian-developed online skills management system providing farmers with insights about workers’ skills, and steers and validates workers’ professional development.

traive – initially being rolled out in Brazil, traive is an online lending platform using artificial intelligence and big data to support new risk-reduced lending opportunities in agriculture.

Zetifi – an Australian company that has developed affordable solar-powered on-farm WiFi overcoming mobile blackspots and helping to simplify and streamline farm management.

How have previous participants fared?
The highly successful graduates of the 2018 SparkLabs Cultiv8 program include Aquabyte who recently secured $10 Million Series A financing to continue leading the transformation of the fish farming industry with machine learning.

James Tyler, which has built a multi-channel platform now selling leading Australian produce through some of China’s largest “new retail” customers including Alibaba’s Hema store.

They are now the largest exporter of fresh Australian dairy to China and raised $1.4m from Australian private and institutional investors to fund their expansion.

Farmbot secured a national alliance with leading agriculture merchandise supplier Ruralco that will see Farmbot distributed nationally across some 600 stores; Hydroleap signed a multi-year, multimillion dollar deal with their largest client yet; and completed a $US2.4 million seed round with investors including Maersk Ventures.

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