The program included mentoring sessions to diagnose gaps and development opportunities for startups, which then receive appropriate support in the form of training, business planning, mentoring and learning, and an introduction to the ins and outs of agriculture.
The 10 finalists had access to group mentoring sessions, as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions focused on entrepreneurial skills such as developing a business model, funding a business, and planning for launch, as well as a series of unique masterclasses tailored to the startup’s needs.
1st place - Ullmanna has developed a hardware product that attaches to tractors to cut weeds in the row. The product comes from the Czech Republic. The product detects the plant and decides whether to cut it or not. It provides an environmentally friendly solution to herbicides and dramatically decreases the amount of manual weeding in organic farming.
2nd place - Verdefood is a Romanian marketplace that connects local farmers around Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca with the local demand for fresh vegetables and fruits. In addition, the platform provides farmers with tools to better manage their supply processes.
3rd place - Proofminder is a Hungarian AI platform for precision agriculture – crop/leaf monitoring for farmers as a SaaS platform with drone production partners. The platform targets large agribusinesses in CEE, seed producers, apple growers (& fruit tree growers) and other market players.
Fifty AgriTech startups in Central and Eastern Europe signed up for Nextcelerator. Startups selected include marketplace projects, agrifood projects, and farm process optimization projects, most of them already post-revenue, with traction under their belt and the intention to refine their product and scale it in broader geographies.
"Nextcelerator was created to recognize and support founders and solutions that are innovative and contribute to a sustainable model in the region CEE, as this sector is one of the pillars of the European economy and security. We were impressed by the motivation, pitch, development, and interest of the finalists who share the vision of technologized agriculture and the positive social impact of their solutions. Together with our partners Agricover and Microsoft, we will continue to support startups in their challenges," said Andrei Dudoiu, Managing Partner of SeedBlink.
"We are pleased with the success of the program, which attracted participants from Central and Eastern Europe. We have seen many good ideas and valuable agritech solutions for the development of sustainable agriculture and the digitalization of agriculture. We thank our partners SeedBlink and Microsoft for this good project and assure all participants of our continued support. These results encourage us to look forward to future editions," said Liviu Dobre, Managing Director of Agricover Holding.
The overall goal of this program is to strengthen the capacity of Central and Eastern European agri-tech startups and entrepreneurs so that they have greater potential to generate sustainable revenue and to match them with partners for investment in growth capital to advance their development plans.
After Demo Day and the announcement of the winners, attendees summarised the benefits of the program: the opportunity to connect directly with industry specialists, investment readiness, 1:1 connection and mentoring, direct feedback, and connection with founders facing similar vertical challenges beyond the program.
“We have farmers on our team, and that's so significant because our solution makes their lives so much easier. We are also thrilled to be endorsed and recognized by the three partners: Agricover, Microsoft and SeedBlink, and I encourage startup founders to participate in such specialized accelerators to really develop. Nextcelerator has provided us with business support, expertise, industry knowledge and networks - which I find really valuable” said Martin Ullmann, founder of Ullmanna.