AgriFood Investment Readiness Programme

For UK SMEs working on AgriFood innovations and looking for private investment.

About the programme

Supporting the AgriFood community in the UK when it comes to securing private investment is a priority for the Innovate UK Business Connect AgriFood team. This is because private investment is often essential to help fast-track innovative projects, in its own right or in tandem with funding from organisations like Innovate UK.

Our AgriFood Investment Readiness Programme supports UK SMEs who want to secure private investment to boost their AgriFood innovation.

The programme includes:

  • In-person and online investment pitch training
  • Mentorship from the Innovate UK Business Connect AgriFood team
  • An opportunity to pitch to selected investors.

The AgriFood Investment Readiness Programme is funded by Innovate UK and delivered by Innovate UK Business Connect.

The AgriFood Investment Showcase

After a number of training activities over the course of a few weeks, the cohort goes through a ‘Pitch Selection Day’ where a panel of investment experts decide which companies are ready to pitch to investors at our Investment Showcase Event.

The Investment Showcase is the final step in the Programme – an important opportunity for SMEs to gain investor interest and start building investor relationships. The event also benefits investors as they are presented with a curated and well-prepared pool of investment pitches from companies who understand investor needs and the investment environment. Those invited are selected from Innovate UK Business Connect’s community of over 100 investors who have demonstrated the credibility, capability, capacity, and appetite to invest in innovative, technology led AgriFood businesses.

In addition to pitching their investment proposition to a curated audience, networking with the investors at the showcase provides participants access to commercial acumen like leadership, market understanding, skills and resources.

The companies that have taken part

  • Overview
    Participating businesses

    In 2022, the Programme focused on Sustainable Food innovation, and more specifically on AgriTech, sustainable protein, Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and low emission food production systems.

    Alt Atlas 
    Developing an AI- digital manufacturing platform to unlock the potential of cell cultivation.

    AI+ agri-robot and technology platform makes digitised precision farming available for all.

    Effectively destroying bacterial pathogens in livestock without using antibiotics.

    Oceans can’t produce more marine ingredients to support aquaculture growth, we can.

    Deep Planet
    Helping growers to adapt to and reverse the effects of climate change, starting with the $450bn wine industry.

    FLOURISH guides microbiomes to improve disease control and boost crop performance, naturally.

    Increasing farmer’s profitability and reducing agriculture’s climate impact using sunlight and nanotechnology.

    Lambda’s sunlight-optimising material increases red light-enhancing plant yield by 20%.

    Muddy Machines
    MuddyMachines’ robots sustainably fix field labour shortages, so growers survive and Thrive.

    Quest Meat
    Quest Meat creates low-cost ingredients to make cultivated meat faster and cheaper.

    Rootiful – a new centre plate plant-based food option. Healthy, localised ingredients and Tasty.

    Unlocking the regenerative value in organic waste with our patented, scalable technology.

    Boosting crop yields, slashing energy costs, eliminating chemicals through high-tech seed treatments.

    Read about the Sustainable Food Investment Showcase 2023 

  • Overview
    Participant updates

    The 2021 Cohort focused on high-growth UK AgriTech SMEs working to transform food production towards net zero emissions.

    Our AgriFood team worked closely with the SMEs selected to give them the best chances of success. A key part of this was a four-week Investor Readiness Bootcamp, including guidance on investor readiness fundamentals from Innovate UK Business Connect staff members and external experts. It included two panels with investors who were part of the selected pool of investors for the programme. They discussed their investment philosophies, what they are looking for when they invest, common pitfalls and more.

    The AgriFood team also gave the SMEs individual feedback on their pitches, and shared all the pitches with the investors to spark conversations.

  • Overview
    Participant updates

    Our Investment Readiness Programme used to be called the AgriTech Investment Showcase and ran successfully for four years.

    During that time, out of 41 investment deals in the UK AgriFood sector, 51% of them involved someone who has taken part in the AgriTech Investment Showcase. They raised almost £28m of the total £87m reported investment deals in the sector (Source: Beauhurst).

Our Experts

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