Programs

GroundUp Program

Building market-ready agtech from the GroundUp

The Agtech and Logistics Hub GroundUp Program is for founders of market-ready agtech committed to working with the agrifood industry to take their technology to the next level.  

Sponsored by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), the program cultivates innovation in agriculture to solve industry problems by focusing on startups, innovators and SMEs that have ideas with great potential to achieve product market fit.  

Under expert guidance from an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and more than 20 mentors, companies are assisted in validating and deploying their solutions.

A commercially focused accelerator program delivering real solutions for industry

GroundUp is an intensive program where the founders of market-ready agtech can make 12 months of progress in 12 weeks.

With access to the extensive networks of the Agtech and Logistics Hub, Agrifood Connect, Entrepreneur-in-Residence and a number of mentors, companies can get pitch ready and validate their solutions to achieve market fit.

By accelerating the journey of a product or service from proof of concept to pilot stage, GroundUp delivers real solutions for industry.

GroundUp is funded by the GRDC and delivered in conjunction with the University of Queensland, VentureCrowd, and Agrifood Connect.

GroundUp Program benefits

  • Access to the Agtech and Logistics Hub’s industry and supply chain network  
  • Participation in Agtech and Logistics Hub study tours to learn from growers and their challenges 
  • Tailored support in industry validation and deployment  
  • Membership and access to the Agtech and Logistics Hub  
  • Desk space at the Agtech and Logistics Hub for the program’s duration  
  • Access to a world class mentor network and Entrepreneur-in-Residence  
  • Investment readiness support and investment facilitation through the Agtech and Logistics Hub’s investor network  
  • Opportunities for profile and promotion locally and nationally, including at a showcase ‘Demo Day’ event  
  • Experiential learning with startup founders constantly challenged by the program, which helps develop entrepreneurial skills like resilience, execution communication, risk taking, decision making and leadership  

GroundUp Program criteria

  • Founder skills and experience: Why are you the right fit to be working on this problem and why is it important to you? 
  • Collaboration: Are you willing to work with others to provide the best-in-class solution for growers? 
  • Program fit: Will your solution benefit from the program in terms of its growth stage, including whether it is too early or too late? 
  • Market validation: How do you know you are solving a real problem for customers? How much validation has been done? How many customer interviews and surveys have you done? 
  • Product and market size: Who has the problem and how will your solution work? How big is the potential of your startup and is the potential market big enough? 
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Key dates

The intensive GroundUp Program runs in two stages over the course of 12 weeks, with weekly full-day sessions scheduled on Wednesdays.  

Sessions 1-7 are held between 5 October and 16 November and Sessions 8-11 are scheduled after the Christmas break between 18 January and 8 February.  

The program culminates in an industry showcase event where innovators demonstrate their solutions to potential investors and growers. 

Application process

Founders must complete and submit an online application form, which consists of written and video responses, by 31 August. 

A selection committee will assess the applications and produce a shortlist of up to 25 innovators who will be invited to participate in the next stage. 

The 25 innovators are selected to attend a 2-hour presentation that delves into program details, expectations and includes pitch practice and a Q&A session. Then there’s the first round of interviews where each innovator delivers a four-minute pitch followed by a six-minute Q&A in front of a section panel. From this, up to 15 innovators are selected for the next stage. 

The innovators are invited to a 25-minute interview, with the selection panel recommending a final cohort of 10-12 innovators. 

The Agtech and Logistics Hub: Industry - Innovators - Investors

Our mission is to accelerate the development and adoption of technologies and innovative solutions that will benefit the agribusiness supply chain. The Hub provides a platform for startups, entrepreneurs, academia, government, industry and innovators to connect, develop and adopt real-world solutions.
We are proudly Industry-Led. If you would like to be part of a growing community of industry partners that are seeking to connect to innovators nationally and internationally, we would love to hear from you.