Charlie Lange is a mixed enterprise producer from the Darling Downs farming region in Queensland. Charlie applied to the program with an idea to extend their Auscrimper family business of manufacturing cover crop crimpers to incorporate crimping, rolling and planting into one process.
Charlie joined the program to develop business skills and networks to progress his idea. Being a regenerative farming enthusiast, Charlie identified the opportunity to develop a machine that was well suited to the Australian landscape, more efficient by incorporating multiple processes into the one unit, reduce chemical usage and improve soil health and water holding.
The program helped him to identify multiple target market opportunities and develop a much deeper understanding into the needs of these segments. This resulted in Charlie identifying that the solution could not be a ‘one size fits all’ but building flexibility into his offering.
The Ideas program provided essential support to develop my Crimper Roller Planter idea. It helped me define the target market and also gave me the confidence to talk to potential future customers.
The Ideas Program Impact
The program changed the way Charlie looked at his new venture and gave him confidence to talk to customers. It helped to de-risk the process for Charlie by ensuring the team explored multiple variations of the product to suit the requirements set out by potential customers and didn’t invest huge amounts of resources into a solution that was not what the market wanted.
“The no.1 skill I learned was how to talk to customers and evaluate what issues they were having and how to change an idea to fit what the market is looking for. Not to focus on what your preconceived ideas are and to look at market fit for a product.”
Charlie has progressed to the prototype stage and has evolved from building the whole machine to building units to go into existing machines. Charlie has been able to secure a number of trials with farmers as well as being accepted into the next stage Bootcamp Accelerator program with Farmers2Founders.