The most recent episode of the Innovations @ Research Park Podcast features Jack Marck, the Managing Director of the Champaign-based Illinois AgTech Accelerator.
Host Tanmay Shaw discusses the benefits that the Accelerator offers agtech companies that are in the ideation stage. The Illinois AgTech Accelerator is unique in its approach because of how tailored the program is to the individual needs of startup companies selected for the program.
The Accelerator focuses on fewer companies than other programs so that it can prioritize their specific issues, provide funding and help them develop an effective strategy to move forward. (Read more about the latest accelerator cohort HERE.)
The episode also delves into the origins of the program and how Champaign was considered to be a prime spot to build an accelerator. Marck emphasizes how Champaign is unique in the collection of all the great ag-focused resources that it has to offer. University of Illinois’ strength in STEM and agriculture makes it a perfect place to recruit bright minds that can bolster innovation in the sector.
“The confluence of natural resources, what the University has built over the last several hundred years…you start keeping a tally of all this, [Champaign] really is in a class by itself,” said Marck when reflecting on all the assets the community brings to the Accelerator.
Marck also talks about success stories in the AgTech Accelerator and how going globally has been a great experience because of its ability to make a tangible impact on other communities that are also focused on AgTech initiatives.
With a food crisis on the horizon, Marck says that innovation in this sector is critical to survival and it is inevitable as well as essential that changes are made.
To listen to more of the conversations that Tanmay Shaw had with Jack Marck about the Illinois AgTech Accelerator and learn more details about the program, tune in to the lastest edition of the Innovations @ Research Park Podcast.
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