Sask Polytech May 2020
Tech

Accelerating Agtech Across Canada

Economic Development Regina (EDR), Cultivator by Conexus and Emmertech Announce Partnership in Agtech

The partnership between all three organizations (with Emmertech launching soon as a venture capital fund) will launch a new Agtech Accelerator for agtech companies across Canada. The Accelerator is open to companies working in agtech and food tech that focus on work in big data, predictive analytics, supply chain, precision agriculture, automation, software, IoT and animal health, among other areas. As well, the Accelerator is also backed by venture capital from Emmertech, where companies engaged with the Accelerator will receive an equity investment upon intake. Innovation Saskatchewan is also a funding partner, investing $300,000 over the next three years. There will be one cohort accepted into the Accelerator annually in the fall, with programming scheduled for the winter. Upon completion of the program, company participants will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

“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,” said Sean O’Connor, head managing director at Conexus Venture Capital Inc. + Emmertech, Conexus Credit Union. “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.”

The Accelerator will also have partnerships with the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic, with further details coming in the weeks ahead. These partnerships are being developed to examine opportunities for commercialization of research and development occurring at the three institutions.

“The Agtech Accelerator is a game-changer for Regina’s ecosystem, but for Saskatchewan and for our leadership as an agricultural powerhouse not just here in Canada, but globally,” EDR Chief Economic Growth Officer Tina Beaudry-Mellor said. “Together with our partners, we now have the venture capital, the research commercialization potential and the labour force pathways into agricultural innovation right here in the Greater Regina Area. To date, no other jurisdiction can offer that.”

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