New effort aims at supporting emerging agricultural technology companies
By: George Watson
With a long-term focus on accelerating business success of high-tech startups and emerging companies in the agriculture sector that can scale and provide return to investors, Texas Tech Research Park officials have announced the launch of the Seraph Hub Fuel Fund.
“I believe this initiative will pay dividends to the people of West Texas, creating jobs and financial support for new ventures,” said Kimberly Gramm, chief operating officer of the Texas Tech Research Park Inc.
The Lubbock region's first $10 million seed fund will leverage Seraph Group's private expert network of 330-plus global investors to develop the capabilities in a critical funding gap in the region. Managing Director David Miller will work closely with Texas Tech's Innovation Hub at Research Park, Seraph and Lubbock Angel Network to create opportunity for the local startup community over the coming months.
There are nine partner organizations, including the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, Plains Cotton Growers, Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, City of Lubbock, U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, as well as Seraph, Innovation Hub and the Lubbock Angel Network.
The minimum fund goal is to invest in 25-35 agricultural technology startups with investments ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 focused on the following technology areas:
- Big Data Analytics
- Emerging Contaminants/Nano-Materials
- Imaging or Mapping
- Plant & Animal Breeding
- Satellite & Atmospheric Predictability
- Sensor & Chip Internet of Things
- Smart Electronics
- Supply Chain Technologies
- Water & Environment Technology
- Wind Engineering & Mitigation
When evaluating an investment opportunity, the Seraph Hub Fuel Fund considers many factors, including:
- Experienced leadership and teams that are passionate, curious, coachable, collaborative and motivated
- Product-market fit and early revenue traction
- Sustainable competitive advantages from patents, trade secrets, differentiated business models, etc.
- Large addressable markets (ideally $100 million-plus) that are experiencing rapid growth
- Capital-efficient business models that require limited capital to commercialize solutions and achieve an exit and return on investment
- A deep understanding and a defendable clear path to exit
CONTACT: Cindy Akers, Interim Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Agricultural & Applied Economics
- Agricultural Education & Communications
- Animal & Food Sciences
- Landscape Architecture
- Natural Resources Management
- Plant & Soil Science
- Veterinary Science
Editor: Norman Martin
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