Agricultural group joins nonprofit to set up agritech accelerator

Agricultural group joins nonprofit to set up agritech accelerator

Startup will get access to agronomists and technology professionals, and farming lands

An undated image of a farmer in the western Negev town of Kadesh Barnea inspecting a crop of cherry tomatoes. (Gili Yaari / Flash 90)
An undated image of a farmer in the western Negev town of Kadesh Barnea inspecting a crop of cherry tomatoes. (Gili Yaari / Flash 90)

Israel’s agricultural group Yakhin is joining forces with Tech for Good, a nonprofit organization that promotes the use of technology for social and environmental causes, to set up an accelerator to mentor agritech entrepreneurs.

The idea is to help develop new solutions that have the potential to transform agriculture in Israel and across the globe. The new accelerator, called Yakhin Impact, will provide selected startups that work toward sustainable development access to agricultural experts, agronomists, technology and marketing professionals, as well as to farming lands, legal and financial consulting, work spaces, and introduction to Israeli and foreign investors, the two organizations said in a statement Sunday.

The accelerator will kick off at an event in Tel Aviv on Monday, which agritech fund investors and representatives of global agricultural corporations and entrepreneurs are expected to attend.

The idea is to link the Israeli startups with impact investors across the world, as they seek ideas and solutions to address food scarcity and environmental quality on Earth, the statement said.

Israeli grapes (photo credit: Flash90)
Israeli grapes (photo credit: Flash90)

“We see a growing demand for new, creative agricultural solutions that will make food in general and healthy food in particular accessible all over the world,” said Omri Boral, co-founder and co-CEO of Tech for Good. “We believe Israeli technologists can fulfil this demand.”

The collaboration with Yakhin will provide entrepreneurs a with “great body of knowledge” that will enable the growth of the entrepreneurs and “the positive social and environmental impact they create around the world.”

Israel is known globally for the inroads it has made in agriculture since its early days of existence. Ever since, the country has maintained its agricultural expertise, with research and development in universities and institutes producing strains of cherry tomatoes, drought-resistant cucumbers and heat-tolerant tomatoes, among others.

With the world forecast to have a population of about 10 billion by 2050, overall demand for food will jump, and policy makers, farmers and investors are looking to new agriculture technologies to produce better and more resistant crops and to improve the health of existing produce.

Omri Boral, co-founder and co-CEO of tech for Good (Courtesy Reuven Kapuchinsky)

There are more than 460 active Israeli agritech companies operating in Israel today, over 25% of which were founded in the last five years, and 50% of which were founded in the last 10 years, data provided by Start-Up Nation Central shows.

Founded in 1927, Yakhin is one of the oldest agricultural groups in Israel and over the decades has cultivated thousands of acres of land, introducing new strains of products and using advanced farming technologies.

Tech for Good is an international organization that helps entrepreneurs solve social and environmental issues, while making making a profit from the activity. Tech for Good offers select startups mentoring programs, experts, access to capital and potential strategic partners, as well as access to Tech for Good’s international network. Tech for Good’s alumni in Israel comprise 17 active startups that raised more than $24 million in the past two years, the organization said.

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