Doing Business in US Virtual Roundtable

US Commercial Service and Innovation Cluster organised a “Doing Business in US” virtual roundtable that shone the spotlight on the thriving US agtech sector.  US Consul General Perth Siriana Nair hosted the event and Australian agtech businesses from regional and remote Australia joined the discussion.  The discussion unveiled the vast benefits for high-growth Australian companies looking to expand to the US.  Both in Australia and the United States, agricultural technologies are unlocking productivity improvements, improving animal welfare, creating new value chains and developing new communications pathways between farmers and consumers. The event underscored the successful role Australian companies are playing on the global stage to drive positive change in the agtech sector.

The US Consul General Perth, Siriana Nair, spoke about the US support of the two way investment relationship between the US and Australia, which totals a staggering A$1.3 trillion. She reinforced, “The US remains the largest destination for Australian overseas capital and has become a major hotspot for Australian agtech.” The diversity in the US agricultural industry has created a demand for a wide variety of agricultural technologies and solutions which provides Australian entrepreneurs opportunities to showcase their products and services and expand their customer base.


Commercial Specialist Duncan Archibald and Georgie Harrowell moderated the discussion with leaders of the Australian agtech industry addressing the group. David Messina, CEO and Co-founder of Rumin8, and Andrew Coppin, Co-founder and CEO of Farmbot (Ranchbot) both spoke on their experiences of entering the US market.

David Messina, CEO and Co-founder of Rumin8

Rumin8 are working to reduce methane emissions from domesticated livestock through feed supplements. David stressed that US investors are at a different level to those in Australia, and see many more opportunities.  Businesses must be very clear on their value proposition and their plans for the next 5-10 years. When asked about raising capital he said, “there are deep pools of capital and some of the VCs have a lot of experience in agriculture. VCs don’t mind risk in the US and they will encourage you to think big and push yourself.” He made clear that having a sophisticated plan and use of funds is important.  He also highlighted the camaraderie between Australian business leaders in the US, and said “lean on fellow Australians wherever you are.”

Andrew Coppin explained how vital market research was for Farmbot, who offer IoT devices to monitor water in real time via satellite technology. They needed to understand the US landscape, the laws, taxes and culture, with the states presenting as essentially 52 different markets with different cultures and regulations. He also emphasised, “terminology and understanding the market you are going to in US is very important”.  For example, Farmbot even uses the company name “Ranchbot” to resonate with the US audience.  They are thriving in the US with a presence on 250 ranches and hiring upwards of 5 employees.  He said, “the market is 5 times larger in the US than in Australia”. And by 2025 they will use the US as a “launchpad to other markets”.  Success came over a period of time in US. He said,  “it took 18 months of homework with accelerator programs including working with Austrade.” He advised, “never assume what you are doing in Australia is going to work in US” and that having people on the ground in the US to talk face to face to customers is vital.

Andrew Coppin, Co-founder and CEO of Farmbot (Ranchbot)

Blair Lucas, Group Commercial Director, spoke on behalf of Acclime, which has helped over 120 innovative companies to enter the US market.  He talked through nine key considerations, from choosing your location and corporate structure to employing staff and understanding the three levels of tax regulations.


Patrick Fazzone from Washington Global Law, posed important questions for Australian businesses, such as: to what extent do you need to adapt your technology to local conditions?


The session highlighted some valuable takeaways: Spend time doing your research; gain an understanding of the market; call upon service providers to help navigate the different regulations; and contact US Government SelectUSA department for support.


The US Commercial Service in Australia invites you to join the 2023 Australian SelectUSA Delegation. Taking place 1-4 May at National Harbor Maryland, SelectUSA Investment Summit is the premier event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment. For further info visit

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