Chance to pick a winner at the final of GROW 2017: Agri-Tech Business Plan Competition

Agrii, Throws Farm Technology Centre, Stebbing, CM6 3AQ

19 June, 2017

Where will you put your money?  Listen to six aspiring agri-entrepreneurs pitch to a panel of judges and then back your winner.  The GROW finalist with the most ‘money’ from the audience will also be given a cash prize. Will the audience agree with the judges?

GROW is the UK’s only agri-tech business plan competition. New this year is the chance for the audience also to pick a winner based on the presentation.

Peer-to-peer funding is growing in the UK and offers the chance for people to invest in a companies with products and services that they know would be of benefit to them and others in their industry.

Keynote speaker Rob Alston is chair of AF Finance, an agricultural pooled collective investment scheme that provides cash flow management for farmers. He is always looking for potential investments with high growth potential.  He says:

“I’m looking forward to GROW this year; it excites me to see something that could be the ‘next big thing’ in the industry, challenging the status quo.”

The finalists

The finalists come from across the UK and several have international connections. Their pitches include: new digital platforms to improve access to market for niche producers; improved techniques and tools for soil analysis; and innovative cultivation systems for urban farming.

To get this far they will have developed a business plan with the support of industry mentors and gained training in presentation skills.  Their aim at this event is to win over the judges and convince the audience of the potential of their business idea.

Your vote counts 

As a part of an audience which includes potential partners and seasoned investors, you will also be able to cast a vote that may accelerate the growth of one of these start-ups.

The audience will be provided with special GROW money to become an investor in your chosen business plan(s) – the idea which attracts the most audience backing will win real funding to advance their idea. Your ‘investment’ can help your choice to get started – so come along and make a real difference!

The final is once again kindly hosted by Agrii at their Throws Farm Technology Centre, and is supported by Innovate UK. There will also be an opportunity to see the range of services available to early-stage agri-tech companies and meet some of the organisations offering support prizes.

Attendance is free but you need to register using the form below.

Who should attend

  • Farmers – to find out the new ideas in the pipeline and give advice and industry insights to make sure they tackle YOUR needs
  • Innovators – to talk to industry experts about the needs of the industry, possible routes to market for your ideas, and where the challenges are facing the industry
  • Investors – all good ideas need funding! Find potential future deal flow by meeting the agri-entrepreneurs of the future
  • Professional service providers – to meet new agri-entrepreneurs and showcase the support you can offer as they build their businesses


13.30     Arrival and coffee

14.00    Welcome and introduction – Belinda Clarke, Director, Agri-Tech East

14.10     Introduction from InnovateUK – Howard Partridge, East of England Regional Manager, East of England

14.15     Keynote address – “Show me you can make it happen” Robert Alston, CEO, Silfield Ltd, Farmer and Investor

14.45    GROW finalist presentations

15.45    Tea break, audience voting and judges discussion

16.15   Announcement of finalists, photographs, further networking

16.30   Closing comments

17.00  Close and depart

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GROW - The UK's only national agri-tech business plan competition