Economic Development Regina, Cultivator + Emmertech to Launch Saskatchewan’s First Agtech Accelerator
Economic Development Regina (EDR), Cultivator powered by Conexus (Cultivator) and soon-to-be-launched venture capital fund, Emmertech, are excited to announce we’re teaming up to launch an Agtech Accelerator. Through this partnership, we’re solidifying Saskatchewan as a global hub for agtech investment, commercialization, and job creation by providing world-leading agtech and foodtech companies with the mentorship, resources, programming and funding needed to help them take their startup to the next level.
- The Agtech Accelerator will be open to agtech and foodtech companies from across Canada that focus on (but not limited to):
- Big data and predictive analytics
- Supply chain, traceability and sustainability
- Precision agriculture
- Robotics and automation
- Farm management software, sensing and Internet of Things
- Animal health
What makes the Agtech Accelerator unique is that it is venture capital-backed. Companies selected to participate will receive an equity investment at intake via Emmertech – a first for an accelerator in Saskatchewan and Canada.
Coming on board as a funding partner for the Agtech Accelerator is Innovation Saskatchewan, with a $300,000 commitment over the next three years. Through this funding, we can accelerate game-changing innovation, further positioning Saskatchewan as a global leader for agtech and foodtech.
One cohort per year will be selected each year through an application process, with programming taking place during the winter months to coincide with farming off-season. At the end of the programming, companies will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges at an event called “Demo Day” for a chance to win prizes. Cohort recruitment will take place each fall.
As with many other industries, technology is driving global agriculture forward. Our future relies on collaboration, innovation, and the ability to leverage our strengths and become leaders who drive a sustainable future here at home, across the country, and around the world. Who better to lead the growth of agtech in Canada and beyond than Saskatchewan – home to:
- More than 40% of Canada’s cultivated farmland;
- A vibrant and growing startup culture; and
- A strong ecosystem of world-leading agtech and foodtech companies and business community.
Saskatchewan has always been a leader in agriculture, and the Agtech Accelerator allows us to continue leading into the future. To learn more, visit Cultivator.ca/agtech-accelerator.
“A high-performance accelerator needs to provide impactful programming, access to capital, and key industry connections. Through the partnership of Emmertech (capital), EDR (industry), and Cultivator (programming), and the support of Innovation Saskatchewan, we've got the perfect recipe for cultivating Canada's agtech sector.”
~Jordan McFarlen, Cultivator Manager, Conexus Credit Union
“Attracting agriculture business, expertise, capital and supports is a key focus for our region. We're excited to partner with Cultivator and Emmertech to launch the Agtech Accelerator as part of our growing ecosystem - helping create new opportunities and innovations that will contribute to our vision to be a leader in agricultural innovation.”
~Ly Pham, Director, Entrepreneurship & Strategic Initiatives, Economic Development Regina
“Fundamentally, we need a new approach to supporting agtech if we’re looking to become a global leader in this space. We have the top startup founders in the world, working in ecosystems with direct overlap alongside some of the most innovative farmers globally. Having an accelerator that can help support these founders, link them into industry, and help guide them through a playbook of building a startup that’s fundamentally different from the general tech space is critical. Our whole team here at Conexus Venture Capital Inc. is thrilled to be a part of this journey through our new agtech focused fund, Emmertech.”
~Sean O’Connor, Head Managing Director, Conexus Venture Capital Inc. + Emmertech, Conexus Credit Union
"By focusing resources into areas of our province’s natural economic strengths, we feel strongly that we can establish Saskatchewan as a world class agtech hub. Funding the Agtech Accelerator will accelerate game-changing ag innovation, further positioning Saskatchewan as a premiere destination for agtech entrepreneurs."
~Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan