Agribusiness Incubator Case Studies
Agribusiness Incubator Case Studies
infoDev's agribusiness innovation project presents lessons learned from 10 case studies of agribusiness incubators in low and middle income countries, including Brazil, Chile, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Mozambique, Timbali, Uganda, India, and Indonesia. These case studies highlight best practices and lessons learned from across the globe for developing and sustaining agribusiness incubators.
Over 15 years, the CENTEV/UFV-TI has enabled faculty, researchers, and students at the Federal University of Viçosa to create and develop new technology-based businesses, including agribusinesses. This case study takes an in depth look at the organizational structure and incubation process which has generated 24 graduates, with an average revenues of $2.5 million a year. Although the CENTEV/UFV-TI is partially funded by the university, and receives state and private grants, currently, the incubator’s main source of revenue comes from royalties charged to graduate companies.
Founded in 1976 by the Chilean government and an American conglomerate, the Fundación Chile introduces technology innovations and develops companies in target industries, including agribusiness, marine resources, forestry, and others. This case study highlights the foundation’s strategic vision, its approach to incubation, and lists a number of its recent success stories. Fundación Chile has a unique business model for a non-profit entity. Through acquiring and adapting new technologies, it has become almost entirely self-financed by taking a minority share in the companies created.
In 2002, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) developed an agribusiness incubator (ABI), with the support of India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST). This case study provides a broad overview of the ABI’s distinctive features, approach to incubation, and business model, while also revealing critical success factors, and lessons learned and implications for agribusiness incubators. Since 2007, ABI has been financially self-sufficient.
The Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund (MLSCF) is a venture capital fund based in Kuala Lumpur, with $150 million in committed capital, co-managed as a public-private partnership between a government organization and a private merchant bank. This case study illustrates how the MLSCF has successfully transferred biotechnologies from more-developed countries into emerging markets, while modeling itself after successful venture capital funds in California’s biotech industry. To date, none of the 12 companies MLSCF has directly invested in have failed nor have their 26 indirect investments.
Established through a constitutional act in 2006, the Fundación Jalisco aims to increase the competitiveness of agricultural production chains, and enable businesses to adapt new technologies and knowledge. This case study provides an overview of the foundation’s institutional framework and business model, and takes a close look at its first project investing in blueberry farming. Fundación Jalisco, which receives both state funding and private investment, has earned early success, and berry revenues have enabled it to diversify into value-added products, such as olive oil and cheese.
Since 2003, the Timbali Technology Incubator has aimed to empower rural farmers whose livelihoods have been undercut by high-volume farms in the Mpumalanga region of South Africa. This case study examines Timbali’s business model, primarily based through franchises, and supported by government financing and fee-based services, to illustrate its approach to incubation and determine its critical success factors and lessons learned. Timbali dominates the agribusiness incubator space in its region, owns several commercial brands, and hopes to expand to other regions within South Africa.
TechnoServe is not a traditional incubator. From its base in Maputo, TechnoServe travels to the rural areas in order to serve its clients where they do business. Through partnerships with industry leaders, it trains new market entrants in best practices for processing, marketing, logistic management and quality control. This case study explores how TechnoServe stimulates investment, job creation, and local economic activity through their distinctive features and business model. Although TechnoServe is a large organization spanning ten African countries and seven in Latin America, its innovative methods in Mozambique have become best practices across its other country operations.
The Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), a state-run incubator, has made significant impact by introducing value-added processing systems in rural farmer communities. UIRI has a strong institutional framework, state-of-the-art facilities, and high-level expertise along with a unique approach in empowering rural farmers. This case study details the traditional incubator’s history, success stories, current challenges, and its future goals.
The Villgro Innovations Foundation is a nonprofit business incubator with a unique rural orientation. As a nonprofit, more than 75 percent of Villgro’s cash flow comes from grants and other third-party contributions; however, the organization still possesses the management disciplines and strong internal business controls of a for-profit corporation. This case study examines Villgro’s business model, institutional framework, and business networks to determine key lessons from its ambitious program.
The Incubator for Agribusiness and Agroindustry at Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia (IAA-IPB) enables entrepreneurs through three stages: early incubation (mentoring ideas, defining technological needs), business incubation (launching production), and post-graduation (consulting services- finance, marketing). This case study illustrates the IAA-IPB’s distinctive features, business model, and approach to service. The incubator’s success over the past 15 years has earned it a high reputation within the country and it has been self-sufficient since 2000.