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The Victorian government has announced its commitment to double the size of the Hugh Victor McKay Fund to $2 million, demonstrating its dedication to nurturing early-stage agtech startups in the region. Managed by LaunchVic, the fund will now offer up to $200,000 to Victorian agtech companies, effectively doubling the potential number of recipients to at least 10 over the next year.

The increased funding aims to drive innovation within the agriculture industry and empower farmers to enhance their efficiency through the adoption of new technologies. Victorian agriculture minister Ros Spence emphasized the importance of supporting a dynamic and resilient agricultural sector that not only meets the present needs but also prepares for future challenges.

The inaugural investments from the Hugh Victor McKay Fund include Agrinous, a company that provides a cloud-based livestock management platform, and The Leaf Protein Co, which focuses on developing alternative plant proteins for growers and food manufacturers. These investments are further boosted by a 2-for-1 matching scheme with private investment, resulting in a total capital activation of $6 million for founders.

Additionally, the government has made available 20 AgTech grants valued at $50,000 each. These grants will not only assist startups in building their business capabilities but also provide them with dedicated mentoring support.

As a result of these initiatives, the total value of Victoria’s AgTech sector has experienced a significant growth. This expansion of funding and support signifies the Victorian government’s commitment to fostering innovation and technological advancements within the agriculture industry, ultimately positioning the region as a hub for agtech innovation.