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Ag Tech Sunday - Ag start-ups share plans to solve Grain issues

By Toni Somes - GRDC

Are you interested in hearing how rising stars in the agtech space plan to solve challenges facing grain growers or the broader grains industry?

GRDC and Australia’s leading food and agtech accelerator program, SproutX, are hosting a virtual Grains AgTech Showcase on Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

This free event will showcase five innovative business founders from promising start-ups, each with plans to solve major problems facing the nation’s grain growers.

GRDC Business Development and Commercialisation Manager – North, Chris Murphy, said GRDC had partnered with SproutX to select and mentor business founders who could potentially deliver transformational value to the grains industry.

GRDC Business Development and Commercialisation Manager – North, Chris Murphy.

“Ultimately, GRDC is looking to source and fast-track the commercialisation of new innovations that benefit Australian growers, including optimising input costs, maintaining and improving price, improving yields, reducing post farm-gate costs and managing risk,” Mr Murphy said.

“Through its Australian Grains Innovation Program, GRDC is supporting agtech start-ups and has launched several initiatives over the past 18 months.

“These include the $50 Million GrainInnovate venture capital fund, in partnership with Artesian Capital, along with Growers as Innovators, and Accelerator Programs.”

Mr Murphy said for entrepreneurs in the agricultural technology space, the collaboration between GRDC and SproutX offered an invaluable opportunity to gain early support and validation for their solutions by linking with GRDC’s network of research providers and grain growers.

“The Accelerator Program is designed to support the placement of grains-focused innovations from growers and other non-traditional partners into the existing Australian Accelerator Network,” Mr Murphy said.

“Partnering with SproutX gives us access to a diverse range of partners and emerging technologies and potentially increases their odds of success in this industry.”

Chris Romano, who is head of Growth and Partnerships with SproutX, said the partnership was about driving success and innovation in the food and agtech space for the benefit of the broader agricultural sector.

“Events such as the Grains AgTech Showcase are an incredible opportunity for these entrepreneurs to share their solutions with grain growers and the broader industry,” Mr Romano said.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with GRDC. Their support enables us to share these solutions and gain valuable feedback to ensure our founders are solving real problems experienced by grain growers.”

As part of the free Grains AgTech Showcase, the five entrepreneurs will be asked to introduce their business; define the grains industry or on-farm problem they are trying to solve; and explain the impact of their solution and how it would help change the state of play for the sector.

The start-ups being featured at the October event include:

  • FarmLab (Sam Duncan, CEO): Online agronomy software that uses remotely sensed data and ground-truthed soil testing to track soil information and improve decision making.
  • Agtuary (Angus Muffatti, CEO): Agtuary use satellite, climate and on-farm data to provide insights for agribusinesses and financial institutions to de-risk agriculture and drive efficiency in the marketplace.
  • Stratus Imaging (Jon Smith, General Manager): Helping agriculture professionals maximise their yield, and their profitability, with industry-leading precision imaging, unmanned aerial vehicles technology and high-precision normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) data.
  • TeleSense (Marcus Kennedy, Executive Chairman): Machine learning software and custom sensors for predicting the quality of crops in storage and transit.
  • BioScout (Saron Berhane, COO): An integrated hardware and software platform that uses data and artificial intelligence to track and analyse the spread of airborne diseases.

The Grains AgTech Showcase will be held on Wednesday, October 14, from 6-7.30pm (AEST). The free, online event is open to grain growers, agronomists, advisers, researchers and industry stakeholders but numbers are limited to registration is essential.

For more information about the showcase, or to register, contact Chris Romano, SproutX, or 0419 257 283.

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