Harvest Agrifood Innovation Program Case Study: My FARMSMART – Lucy Anderton

Business Overview
myFARMSMART empowers farm businesses to manage change through a user-friendly, fully integrated platform for growers and advisers to investigate and analyse potential changes to their farming business.

Why did you apply for the HARVEST program?
We applied for HARVEST as we had a new product we wanted to commercialise, myFARMSMART, a business analysis tool for farmers and their advisors. I wanted to accelerate the development of the product by gaining expertise, increasing its exposure, and expanding my networks to include relevant and helpful contacts.

What was the main challenge you were facing in your business before HARVEST?
I needed to know how to approach commercialising the product, and to find the best avenues for commercialisation. And with hindsight, we realise we did not have the knowledge to do this.

How did the HARVEST program help address this challenge?
HARVEST gave me the tools, the process and the contacts needed to commercialise. The intensive, live-in, week long program was an effective format to learn, and also meant less travel time for regional businesses versus a program delivered over longer period at different locations.

What were the main benefits you got out of the program? Both for your business and you personally?
Firstly, HARVEST was perfect timing for the start-up stage of my business. The program gave me the knowledge required to grow the business, and useful contacts I needed that I would never have had the opportunity to meet and connect with. It accelerated my capacity to manage marketing and promotion. The program focused heavily on teaching how to pitch, which I have found to be very useful skill for promoting the business.

How has Covid impacted your business and how have you responded?
Covid has positively impacted my business as it has led to increased number of potential clients – we have found that increased experience with video conferencing has increased willingness of customers to meet with us online.

“We developed our complex excel model of My FARMSMART into a simplified digital platform. The contacts and knowledge that we gained from HARVEST expedited this process.”

Any major achievements to your business since completing HARVEST?
We developed our complex excel model of myFARMSMART into a simplified digital platform. The contacts and knowledge that we gained from HARVEST expedited this process by at least 12 months.
As a result of my participation in HARVEST I was invited by HARVEST program sponsor CSBP to be part of their Co-Creation Group which meets twice a year with industry leaders. CSBP have followed the progress of my business and have recently produced a video showcasing myFARMSMART for promotion purposes.

Any advice for future HARVEST participants?
We believe participants should immerse themselves fully in this program as it has so much to offer, utilise the contacts they are connected to, and to nurture those business relationships.

What does the future hold for your business?
More features will be added to myFARMSMART so that it will be a complete package solution for farmers nationally and internationally.

myFARMSMART LinkedIn and website:
LinkedIn | Website

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