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Indian incubator programme selects candidates

Two start-ups will receive $50,000 each at the end of the programme, which counts Omnivore Partners, Rural Agri Ventures and Aspada Investments as strategic and financial partners.

India’s first food and agribusiness accelerator set up by IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) has selected its first batch of eight start-ups from over 180 applications across the country, according to a statement.

The selected companies include Flybird Innovations, a company that makes affordable irrigation technologies for small and marginal farmers; Innovation Agro, an agtech company that uses a combination of community-based precision farming and supply chain analytics for farmers to improve yield and market their produce; and Living Greens Organics, one of the first urban farming companies in India to make specialised rooftop organic farming solutions.

Launched in May, the programme aims to accelerate, nurture and invest in early stage start-ups that have the potential to become scalable and competitive food and agri ventures. “Through this accelerator programme, CIIE along with the programme partners are developing an ecosystem for attracting more start-ups in the agri-business and food space,” Patel said in a statement.

The organisation has partnered with agri-focused VC firms Omnivore Partners and Rural Agri Ventures and impact investor Aspada Investments to provide potential funding, and strategic and mentoring support to the selected start-ups.

“The selected start-ups will participate in a three-day workshop followed by three month virtual incubation during which CIIE team will work closely with each of the selected companies,” said Vipul Patel, the CIIE’s associate vice president for agri investments.

Two start-ups will receive a seed investment of at least $50,000 each at the end of the programme from CIIE along with partner incubation centres National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) and Centre for Incubation and Business Acceleration (CIBA), Patel told Agri Investor. In its past accelerator programmes, CIIE investees have also raised investment beyond the programme’s contribution.