Early-stage agri-entrepreneurs get their chance to GROW

Posted on: 12/06/2017

The 2017 national GROW agri-tech business plan competition will demonstrate peer-to-peer funding.


Finalists of the prestigious UK-wide GROW agri-tech business plan competition will have to win the backing of an audience and secure virtual peer-to-peer funding at the event in June.

GROW enables budding entrepreneurs with innovative ideas within the agricultural sector to turn their ideas into business plans – the winner receiving funding to take their business plan to the next stage.

The process of pitching to the audience is an exciting twist to this year’s competition which sees corporate financier and farm managing director, Robert Alston, guide the finalists through the event. Robert is chairman of AF Finance Limited, an agricultural pooled collective investment scheme that provides cash flow management for farmers. He is also MD of his family’s farming business, Silfield Limited.

“I’m looking forward to GROW this year; it excites me to see something that could be the ‘next big thing’ in the industry, challenging the status quo,” said Robert.

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The final of GROW 2017 will feature pitches from early-stage agri-entrepreneurs, drawn from across the UK, looking for their first break into the industry. Pitches include new digital platforms to improve access to market for niche producers, improved techniques and tools for soil analysis, and innovative cultivation systems for urban farming.

The winner will be selected by a judging panel, but the audience of seasoned investors, potential partners, farmers and advisers will also have an opportunity to vote.

Dr Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-Tech East comments: “Everyone is warmly invited to the final of GROW, to hear competitive pitches from agri-entrepreneurs across the UK. Our finalists will not only try to win over our panel of judges, but also a voting audience.”

The final of the GROW agri-tech business plan competition will take place on 19 June at Agrii’s Throws Farm Technology Centre, Stebbing, with support from Innovate UK. To register, please click here.

If you have an innovative idea that you would like to take forward you can also speak to a member if KTN’s Agri-Food Team. You may also be interested in attending one of our upcoming events, on topics such as Automation and Robotics in the AgriFood Sector.

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