Recap: Growth Alliance - The AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator

Growth Alliance - The AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator: Startup BEEsharing won 5000 € from Rentenbank.

A look into the future of agriculture in Germany: The Agricultural Minister, bees & lavender-scented pig stalls

For the second year in a row, 10 startups in the AgTech (and introduced this year, FoodTech) development sectors participated in Growth Alliance: The AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator, a business bootcamp co-created by Rentenbank and TechQuartier. The program took place at TechQuartier in Frankfurt from 7-11 October.

More than 35 startups originally applied to be part of this accelerator. From that initial group, only 10 were invited to a week of intensive startup development.

  1. Fliegende Wildretter: Before a farmer mows a field, drones are used to scout for baby and small animals to prevent needless deaths.
  2. BEEsharing: Pollinators are shared between beekeepers and farmers on an online platform. Bees can be ordered and transported to fields in Germany. If you don’t have a field, you can always buy honey products directly from producers.
  3. Cepri: Germany’s first smart insect farm producing mill worms and mill worm flour for high-protein food production.
  4. Vineyard Cloud: With software and an app, a winemaker can monitor and plan everything from pest-control to the grape harvest.
  5. Opal Operational Analytics: The Baker-Planner app uses gathered information – from inventory to sales – to forecast future needs.
  6. SprayPatternator: From snow machines to pesticide applications, coverage is optimized using a new technology that reports efficient spray delivery patterns.
  7. Farmerscent: Keep animals healthy and calm with a diffuser that sprays antibiotics and natural lavender and eucalyptus oil in stalls.
  8. ag.supply: An online shop for all things agriculture and farming.
  9. Seperight: Liquid manure can be used sustainably to produce electricity and water.
  10. Traplinked: With an app, digitally monitor mouse and rat traps.

The week culminated with a Demo Day on Thursday 10. October. More than 150 people at TechQuartier watched each of the 10 startups present their idea in a 5-minute, well-rehearsed presentations. The big winner was BEEsharing (Otmar Trenk and Nils Gerber), which won € 5000 from Rentenbank. Second place went to Traplinked and third to Farmerscent.

“Two years ago, Rentenbank approached us to help create an accelerator for the emerging AgTech and FoodTech in Germany,” said. Dr. Thomas Funke, TechQuartier Co-Director. “Our goal for the accelerator program is to give startups an alive and dynamic way to connect with corporates, funding and networks, so founders can continue to develop and grow their ideas.”

Germany’s Food and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner

Meeting the Minister

Germany’s Food and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner was a guest at TechQuartier and interacted with each startup founder during a roundtable discussion about digital agriculture. She promised to continue to fund startups and digital experimental fields on farms and in rural areas nationwide.

“Der Vorteil von start ups ist es, das ist Vor- und Nachteil, beides, dass sie nicht die Riesentanker sind, sondern klein und schnell, und unkonventionelle Ideen haben. Der Nachteil ist, dass sie noch nicht in irgendwelchen Strukturen sind, Förderstrukturen etwa, oder in Netzwerken, wo Selbstverständlichkeiten sich ergeben, und das muss man zusammenbekommen,” Minister Klöckner said to the startups.

(English translation: “The advantage of start ups is that they are not giant tankers, but small and fast, and have unconventional ideas. The disadvantage is that they are not yet in any structures, such as funding structures, or in networks where obvious things arise, and we must come together.”)

By 2022, 50 – 110 million euros have been earmarked for digitization and modernization in agriculture. promised Minister Klöckner. She also invited all three top contenders (BEEsharing, Traplinked and Farmerscent) to this month’s “Politischen Erntedank” in Berlin and present their ideas to policymakers.

Mentors + Speed Dating

Throughout the week, startups took part in hands-on courses to perfect their brand story and pitches, learn about investment readiness, marketing, ecosystem intelligence and go-to-market prep from mentors with startup successes to share.

The mentors included:

  • Bianca Praetorius, Startup Pitch Coach & Public Speaking Trainer
  • Julian Reitze, Founder and Managing Director of rezemo GmbH
  • Bettina Gereth, Independent Financial Advisor
  • Dagmar Bottenbruch, General Partner DC&F Capital Partners Management GmbH
  • Philip Groth, Founding Partner PSG Rechtsanwälte
  • Simone Bach, Senior Associate Baker & McKenzie
  • Dr Murat Ünal, Chief Intelligence Officer & Founder SONEAN

Accelerator startups were also matched with established corporations for a Business Speed Dating afternoon. Essentially, each founder had 5 minutes to meet with representatives from corporations in a quick networking session.

“I think the most important part is to keep on building connections, bringing people together and open a chance for someone who is not in the startup ecosystem, first time founder to build his/her network,” ag.suppy co-founder Sebastian Schauff said about TechQuartier’s role in supporting German startups.

Demo Day + Workshops

Press Coverage