Meet our HARVEST 2024 Cohort!

The HARVEST 2024 cohort has officially been established and we are thrilled to introduce these 10 innovative agtech start-up businesses! Now in its 7th year, the Western Australian HARVEST development program has expanded its reach and support to include a handful of SMEs from the Eastern States of Australia.  

This cohort features outstanding innovators specialising in autonomous solutions, agtech education, innovative machinery and technology, and sustainable practices. The five-month HARVEST program commenced last week with a two-day bootcamp at the Muresk Institute, Northam, where the cohort engaged in team activities, networking, and collaboration whilst also learning from guest speakers, Simon Foley (Agworld), Derek & Kylie Gerard (Purpose Ventures), Doug Hamilton (CSBP), Ash Teakle (Karinya Farms), and Ryan Del Casale (DPIRD).

Day one of the boot camp commenced with the 2024 cohort getting to know one another, sparking initial conversations, and engaging in a business strategy session run by Dr Natasha Teakle.

The group was then treated to a tour of Muresk Institute where they learnt about the Institutions use of machinery to advance the skills, training, and education of students and apprentices. This tour included the groups favourite activity of the day, utilising the two Tenstar Simulators that mimic the process of driving high-level machinery.

Later that night, the group was joined for dinner by guest speakers, Simon Foley, Derek & Kylie Gerald, Doug Hamilton, and Ashley Teakle. These guest speakers helped the group understand different perspectives on innovation and gain professional insight into venture capital, investing processes, and the experiences faced by farmers and fellow agtech businesses.

“The thing about agriculture is that you can really explain the why. There are such passionate people in this industry that get up at 2am in the morning to go spraying and make sure the crops are coming out of the season well. We need to make sure the next generation of kids carry a similar but new level of passion, particularly for agricultural technology as there is so much potential for new adoptions.”
Doug Hamilton

On day two, Ryan Del Casale from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) joined the cohort for the bootcamp, immersing himself in the conversation and activities. Ryan presented on day two, detailing DPIRD’s operations and involvement in agricultural innovation, providing a new viewpoint and perspective for the group to engage with.


The final activity of the bootcamp involved the cohort participating in the Marshmallow challenge, a task dedicated to building the tallest tower out of spaghetti, tape, and one marshmallow. This activity focussed on teamwork, collaboration, and group planning techniques. With three groups, and three very different strategies, the teams thoroughly enjoyed the competition and demonstrated the way their various individual skills worked together.

"The Harvest Ag Bootcamp Accelerator stands out by effectively blending practical experience with essential theoretical insights. It provided my start-up with direct access to farmers, agribusiness experts, investors, and advanced Ag-tech tools, equipping us with the critical data and connections needed to make informed decisions and drive our business forward."
Josh Nhundu

Where to Now?

Over the next few months, the HARVEST program will feature masterclasses with agtech and commercialisation experts, field trips to the Food Innovation Precinct WA and Esperance (in collaboration with the Esperance Zone Innovation group) and showcase event at the Royal Agriculture Society (save the date 21st August). In addition, four HARVEST Alumni will be selected for an interstate and/or international delegation, an opportunity that took members of the 2023 HARVEST cohort to a global conference in Singapore.

Thank you to HARVEST 2024 Premier Partner, Grains Research and Development Corporation, a Commonwealth entity that invest in research, development, and extension to deliver new and improved varieties, farming practices, technologies and capability to the Australian grains industry. Thank you also to The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Agrifutures AustraliaWrays, CSBP Fertilisers and The Royal Agricultural Society of WA for your support.

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