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Ag tech accelerators form alliance

RH Acclerator and OAFT will share resources to support early-stage companies

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RH Accelerator Inc. and OAFT, (Ontario Agri-Food Technologies) have formed a strategic alliance to help early stage companies in agriculture and food get ahead.

Ontario Agri-Food Technologies has been in operation for 23 years, based in Guelph. RH Accelerator was created last year in London, Ont. and has brought together experts inside and outside of agriculture to help fund and mentor early-stage companies, especially those in agriculture and food.

Why it matters: There has been large amounts of money invested in agriculture technology in the past five years as investors see potential for technology disruption in the sector.

“We are excited about adding OAFT’s 23 years of knowledge, network and reputation to our founder programming already being delivered to the RHA companies.“ says Joe Dales, co-founder of RH Accelerator Inc.

“While RH Accelerator is a relatively young company, we have made almost 20 investments and our new private virtual community has grown to over 500 members – founders, mentors, investors and business professionals.”

RH Accelerator Inc. is currently raising a private RHA fund with accredited investors using the system so it can make future seed round investments in additional early stage innovative companies.

Tyler Whale, president of OAFT says “We are looking forward to working with the experienced RH Accelerator team to expand our impact and enable more companies to gain access to needed resources such as financing, highly accomplished mentoring, deep business intelligence and expanded networks in our collaboration with RH Accelerator. The combined resources will significantly improve the growth prospects and probability of success for early stage innovators.“

Shifts in provincial government funding last year in the area of agriculture technology acceleration has meant organizations like OAFT have had to reinvent themselves and seek out new opportunities.

According to AgFunder’s latest Agri-FoodTech Investing Report, $19.8 billion has been invested in AgriFood tech across 1,858 deals in 2019. The report covers the wide range of agri food innovations, eGrocers and restaurants to farming agtech, ag biotech, farm robotics and equipment, bioenergy and biomaterials.

OAFT and RH Accelerator leaders says they want to attract a greater share of that investment to the cluster of agriculture companies in Ontario’s expanding cluster.

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