Rural and regional applicants announced for new business boot camp

A street view software for grape growers, and an app for managing machinery records, are among eight agtech businesses selected to take part in the Farmers2Founders (F2F) Business Growth Boot Camp.

The inaugural boot camp will enable primary producers to access resources and world-class mentoring via a three-month innovation program designed to further their commercial opportunities and take their businesses to the next level.

F2F was established by innovation specialists Sarah Nolet and Dr Christine Pitt after they noticed a gap between the agriculture and technology communities and knew a different approach was needed to solve the problem.

“Innovation in agriculture comes in many forms. We’re thrilled to announce the selection of these incredibly dynamic and worthy regional teams,” Pitt said.

“We were inundated with applicants and believe we’ve chosen the businesses who will most benefit from this opportunity that will allow them to flourish.”

Fiona Turner from Bitwise Agronomy who runs a ‘smart vineyard’ in Tasmania, and has built a software, AI and robotics product for fellow grape-growers said she’s thrilled to be selected for the boot camp.

“We aim to bring the power of Street view like imagry and Machine Learning to aid farmers in a multitude of tasks that they have no time or resources to get done,” she said.

“Time consuming visual based tasks that are a pain to conduct can be automated or expert advice given from data collected by junior members of the farm.

“We’re so excited to see where the bootcamp will take us. F2F is one of the few programs that really works with the producer from the ground up to scale regional businesses.

“The commercialisation expertise offered by the coaches and access to experts on raising capital, PR insight and tech management advice, I believe, will give us the skills to take our products to the next level.”

The program kicks off with a four day, in-person boot camp on Monday 25th November. The businesses will be able to complete the program as they work remotely on their farms and in their businesses.

On top of the mentorship, each team will receive a $10,000 equity-free grant for company expenses, assisting them to navigate the challenges of scaling a business.

Selected businesses from Tasmania, NSW and Queensland include:

Synchronicity Farm (Nana Glen, NSW): a farm business and social enterprise connecting farmers and growers with consumers who want access to food directly from a farm.

QCamel (Sunshine Coast, QLD): an ethically and organically farmed camel milk producer, producing camel milk food products, including a botanical skincare range.

Garlicious Grown (Braidwood, NSW): producing a range of black garlic products, including powders, pastes and oils.

VineRunner by Bitwise (Tasmania): a software product for grape-growers to view, compare and analyse footage from their vineyard over time.

Farm Service Manager (Walgett, NSW): an app for farmers to manage their machinery service records in one place.

Training Paddock (Trangie, NSW): a digital platform for agricultural workers to document their skills, auto-create resumes, and connect with employers.

FarmSimple (Moree, NSW): an app for cropping operations to manage their whole business, allowing farms to achieve higher efficiency and productivity.

Outback Lamb (Tullamore, NSW): fifth-generation farmers producing single origin pasture raised and finished lamb. The family-owned business have created a value-add product – lamb sausage rolls.

Farmers2Founders is supported by AgriFutures Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Meat & Livestock Australia, and Wine Australia.

In April this year, F2F received federal Government funding through the Incubator Support initiative funding as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.