Field of wheat©Tim Scrivener

Entrepreneurs are being urged to submit Dragons’ Den-style business proposals for innovative new technologies that will benefit agriculture.

The Grow initiative is the UK’s first agri-tech business plan competition. Organised by Agri-Tech East, it is aimed at encouraging entrepreneurial thinking – and new products or services that will help improve the efficiency, productivity or sustainability of farming.

 See also: Agri-tech winning tenders unveiled

Winners are eligible for a £1,000 first prize. The second prize is worth £500. Successful candidates will be able to select business support from a range of experts able to help accelerate businesses and bring products to markets.

Candidates who register an expression of interest will benefit from the support of an experienced mentor to help them to develop the business plan. Business plans should identify market opportunity, business concept and funding requirements.

Applicants will be assigned an expert mentor to talk through the competition and help them develop their idea and the plan. Applicants who have not pre-registered are not eligible to submit a plan to the competition.

Once the competition has closed, a panel of experts will shortlist a number of plans to go through to a final selection process next summer. Candidates will then give a 10-minute presentation and answer questions from an expert judging panel. Winners will be announced the same day.

The closing date for entries is 15 April. For details, visit the Agri-tech competition website.