Launching an Agtech startup

Launching an Agtech startup

Launching an Agtech startup when you have no background in Agriculture.

 

Like me, you have this great idea and would like to save the planet. This idea could allow millions of people to be more sustainable! Yet you have no idea where to start because Agtech is not your background and as a new entrepreneur, you are not sure where to start. 

 

Lucky you, the internet is a beautiful place and in this article I’m going to share some tips and advice to launch your great Agtech idea and save the planet! 

Bonus: you don’t need a degree, contacts and a background in agriculture. 

 

A bit about Agtech:

Agtech is the tools, technologies and innovations that enable agribusiness to innovate, grow and adopt more efficient production practices. The industry can cover many innovations. For example sensors, farm management software, imagery, smart farm equipment and added value to existing resources that have the potential to advance the profitability and sustainability of agriculture in South Australia. 

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Launching a business can be overwhelming especially in a niche industry, where not everyone will understand what you do. 

Agtech can be very technical. 

So here is a list of tips and advice below I wished someone gave me when I launched my startup.

 

#1 Find your circle

Surrounding yourself with people that have more experience than you is the key to your future success. Building relationships takes time, and nurturing these relationships takes even more time. Start early. 

 

Go to networking, introduce yourself, pitch your idea, ask recommandations, connect with people on LinkedIn and see where this takes you.

 

#2 Join an ecosystem

An accelerator or an incubator is a great place to start. Some programs also offer cash money, and if not, a great network of mentors and new connections. Just what you need! 

 

Depending on the complexity of your project, the R&D needed and how much knowledge you have about the industry, connecting with Universities can be a great idea. You’ll be able to meet lecturers, researchers and even students who might be interested to help out as work experience. Make the most of it. 

 

 

Prepared by Austrade using provided logos. To be included, register your EOI here

Join online discussion groups. The Ausagritech Slack group is a great place to start with almost 500 professionals who will be happy to help, give you feedback, introduce someone you should talk to. You need a private invite to join the group, but feel free to send me a message on LinkedIn and I’ll invite you.

 

The Agtech meetup is an ecosystem of almost 1,300 members in Australia who meet every month to discuss with industry speakers and chat about specific themes. Previous one was on Sustainable supply chains: creating trust & resilience from farm to table.

 

Bigger events such as _SOUTHSTART or evokeAg are amazing places to meet like minded people. Both have an agtech focus and very high key speakers. AdvanceAG is also happening in Adelaide this July. Do not miss such great opportunities where professionals from all around the country gather to learn about new innovations! 

 

#3 Test your idea

Australia is a great test market! Being in one of the world’s driest regions, Australian producers are well known for their ability to ‘do more with less.’ I have heard many times that “if you can do it in Adelaide, you can do it pretty much anywhere else”. 

Testing your idea is probably the most important part of your agtech project. Receiving early feedback and talking to potential future customers will save you a lot of $$ – follow your market needs and do it as early as you can.

The Australian agtech industry is very exciting and as much as I would like to go into detail, Austrade published this great report that you can check out!

 

#4 Become an expert in your field

Save some time to research and educate yourself about the industry, not just your solution, but your competitors and other available technologies. Stay in the loop to know what’s going on in the industry. These two newsletters are great start: 

 

These initial ideas are all worth exploring, but of course there are many more! I would love to hear what other resources you think would be useful for entrepreneurs looking to get started in Agtech. Please leave your comment below. 

 

Marion Vigot

Co founder and CEO Mister RYE and Compostable Alternatives 

 

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