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Xconomy Raleigh-Durham —  Agriculture and food-related companies make up a global industry, but when it comes to seeding startups in the sector, agricultural technologies face a relative funding famine.

AgTech Accelerator, a new startup program launched Thursday in Research Triangle Park, NC, is trying to address funding issues facing agtech companies, while also providing some of the business support and infrastructure that these young companies need to grow. The accelerator is starting with an $11.5 million investment from global agribusiness companies and life science investors, and includes partnerships with leading academic institutions across the country. John Dombrosky, CEO of the new accelerator, says that investment could balloon to more than $30 million by the end of this year as AgTech Accelerator adds new partners.