Hone Program 2022
1 May 2022
The Bud Fruitfulness team is composed of Joanna Jones and Thomas Rodemann, researchers who, through the University of Tasmania, undertook significant research into a method of measuring and recording the ‘fruitfulness’ of grape fruit buds in vineyards. Through their research project, the team developed a prototype scanning device and dashboard platform which could measure bud fruitfulness to more accurately predict yields at an earlier stage in the grape growing cycle, and adapt pruning decisions to achieve that targeted yield.
As noted, the Bud Fruitfulness team participated in the F2F Hatch program where they sought to validate the problem sets their prototype solution could address; the customer segments who would benefit most from the product; and a path to market for the commercialisation of the product.
The Hatch program offered the Bud Fruitfulness team a new perspective on their intended customer segment and the addressable market for their solution. Their primary assumption was that vineyard managers or pruning contractors in cool climate vineyards would benefit most from having the device as the climatic challenges of these vineyards impacted the accuracy of traditional yield prediction methods. However, through the customer discovery process, the team identified that the severity of the problem of
inaccurate yield predictions vastly differed from vineyard to vineyard and between vineyard workers in specific roles.
Accordingly, the Bud Fruitfulness team entered the Hone program looking to delve deeper into the driving forces which influenced their customer segments desire to achieve greater yield prediction accuracy and understand how this could change how they intended to deliver their solution. The team sought to better understand how they could bring their device to market to best align its delivery with the needs of their customers.
The Bud Fruitfulness team undertook a customised Hone program due to limitations in their availability and ongoing intellectual property queries. The team were exposed to the fundamentals of the Business Model Canvas and were given direct one-on-one coaching sessions to apply the principles to the teams’ circumstances. This was a critical step for the team as their primary consideration entering into the Hone program was to determine how they can bring their solution to market so that it can have the most benefit.
The Bud Fruitfulness team currently perceive two opportunities in this regard. Firstly, there is a potential to further refine their prototype into a finalised device and sell this as a retail product. Alternatively, the team are considering opportunities to license the device and its algorithm to existing platforms or service providers, such as Bitwise Agronomy.
The Hone program has helped the Bud Fruitfulness team to consider their research outcomes in a specific business context and they are in the process of defining their desired revenue streams and channels to market. As a result, the team are now looking to establish industry partnerships which can provide a deeper insight into the addressable market and to conduct trials of their technology within an existing operation. This process will help to inform the best pathway to market for their solution and to further refine their product.
The Hone Program is a great way to learn about how to convert a business idea into a more
defined roadmap for commercialisation. It's great that you get to test your idea with your real
customer base and are able to re-evaluate your strategy.
The Bud Fruitfulness team will continue to undertake a customised delivery of the Hone program beyond the graduation date for the other teams, with particular emphasis on more widely understanding their customer segment and the potential delivery of their solution to the relevant segments.