Farmers2Founders have launched a national boot camp aimed at innovative producers looking to fast-track their agtech businesses.
Founded by AgThentic CEO Sarah Nolet and Food Futures Company CEO Dr Christine Pitt, Farmers2Founders is an entrepreneurial program supported by AgriFutures Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Meat & Livestock Australia and Wine Australia.
Following on from a series of grower forums, the Business Growth Boot Camp is a three-month innovation program aimed at producer led companies.
Beginning with a four day, in-person boot camp, to be held from Monday 25th November, the program is aimed at agtech, food tech and food innovation companies already in the market who are looking to fast-track their success.
Ms Nolet said the boot camp was an opportunity for producers to build the technology, financial and marketing capabilities they require through expert coaching and mentors.
"With positions available for six teams, the selected businesses can expect world-class coaching to expand their networks, attract new customers, develop an in-depth understanding of raising capital, PR insight and technology management nous - all while able to work remotely on their farms and in their businesses," she said.
Dr Pitt said each team will also receive a $10,000 equity-free grant to go towards company expenses, helping to navigate the challenging waters of scaling a business.
"In a rapidly shifting agricultural landscape, we want Australian producers' businesses to thrive and lead the charge in solving industry issues across the nation and potentially the world," she said.
"This is a chance for selected businesses to gain insight to scale their business and reach new customers. with tailored support from a team of mentors with agrifood and tech expertise. We know there are fantastic businesses being built all over Australia by producers, that with a little extra support, could really step up and really help solve industry challenges."
North Queensland producer Margaret Wilson said she was one of 12 recent graduates of the inaugural Farmers2Founders Ideas Program. an eight-week curriculum designed to help entrepreneurial producers nail a business idea that offers solutions to on-farm problems.
Ms Wilson said she aims to develop a company producing green tea seed oil.
"The Farmers2Founders Ideas Program was honestly one of the best decisions we've made for growth and innovation know-how," she said.
"It helped us understand our market better and define which of our products would be most likely to succeed. The advice from the coaches was invaluable and we now have a real understanding of the skills and processes to get a new business off the ground."
Applications for the boot camp are now open and close October 20, 2019. The 12-week program will include a four-day, in-person kick off the week of November 25 in Sydney, with travel subsidies available.