Tech startups get their boots dirty

Getting your boots dirty in the wheatbelt is the best way to expose technology startups from Perth to the potential of the agriculture market.

Despite the frosty wheatbelt air, the AgriStart HARVEST field trip to Merredin last week was a great day out to see the latest in on-farm #agtech innovations. Seven tech businesses from Perth were exposed to the data driven decision making of early adopter Brad Jones at Bungulla farms, enabled by devices. Sadly the new SwarmFarm Robotics toy hadn’t arrived yet – we will have to come back soon!

We were lucky to also join the farming systems group at the Merredin Research Station to tour the labs and research trial sites. Great to see the work of the Grower Group Alliance Drought and Innovation Hub – thanks Tanya Kilminster.

More than 50 farmers, industry reps and researchers then joined us for a Regional Agtech Meetup. A real treat to hear from Doug Fitch, CEO of Agworld share his views on product/market fit and on-farm adoption.

This topic was also explored in the grower panel featuring Julie Alvaro, Tanya Kilminster, Brad Jones and we even managed to find a farmer under 30 in Sam Hooper. Pitches from the agtech startups then rounded off the night and led to plenty of discussion with the local growers on the new gadgets. Thanks to Beanstalk AgTech and Department of Primary Industries & Regional Development (DPIRD) for letting us take the Meetup to Merredin!

The value of the Merredin field trip was immense to enable tech innovators from Perth to see first hand how customers would use their tech and better understand grower decision making. We can only facilitate this thanks to the generous support of our partners who recognize the value in these cross sector interactions and building connections: Grains Research and Development Corporation, Department of Primary Industries & Regional Development (DPIRD), Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation through the New Industries Fund – X-Tend WA Program, AgriFutures Australia, CSBP, Grower Group Alliance, Agworld, Wrays | Intellectual Property, nbn® Australia, RLG

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