Wine ain’t wine unless it has been through the FOMENT accelerator


Australia’s wine industry is a world leader because of innovation with the FOMENT Accelerator Program formalising and modernising that tradition through its wine, viti and tourism programme scheduled to kick off in February 2023.

While innovations such as the wine cask and screw cap have come from individual companies or industry researchers, FORMENT is focused on start-ups from around the world who are invited to apply before December 16 to participate in next year’s accelerator to build their presence in the wine sector.

Based in Australia’s quality wine centre in South Australia the source of 80 percent of Australian bottled wine – the six week FOMENT to begin in February is uniquely positioned as the world’s only wine-focused tech Accelerator.

FOMENT is an initiative run in partnership by Hydra Consulting, the Wine Industry Suppliers Association (WISA) and Flinders New Venture Institute (NVI), with support from the Australia Government Department of Industry, Science and Energy Resources and Wine Australia.

Flinders University FOMENT co-lead Carla Dias Wadewitz said: “When it came to developing the FOMENT Accelerator, we wanted to create an immersive experience for start-ups, that would provide them with practical experience in the wine, viticulture and tourism industry.

“The immersive Accelerator program promotes innovation across the wine sector and helps start-ups develop meaningful connections with producers, mentors, investors and other key stakeholders.

“We have seen great success from previous FOMENT alumni, and encourage any tech start-ups with applications in the wine sector to join this year’s cohort.”

FOMENT went through its first pilot in 2019 with great success and has been backed by the support of government and major sponsors for the 2023 year.

Beyond the formal process, start-ups can leverage the direct connections with global mentors and wine businesses ready to adopt their technology that were facilitated throughout FOMENT.

Past participants coming from California, France, New Zealand and Australia have seen immense growth through the program.

Co-founder and head coach of FOMENT Darren Oemcke said: “We wanted to increase the critical mass of startups in wine industry tech so that there was more wine focussed tech emerging globally, to accelerate the uptake of tech by growers, winemakers, marketers and tourism providers as well as to increase the size of the antipodean wine, viticulture and tourism community.

“We are excited to be able to launch our fourth tech Accelerator.”

FOMENT is led by a team with deep roots in the wine industry and experience in start-up establishment, development, marketing, sales, and funding.

Start-ups looking to join the 2023 program can expect an immersion week in the Barossa Valley, weekly expert coaching, mentor matchmaking from a global pool and regular networking opportunities.

Picture: FOMENT

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