Luke Chaplain, Sarah & Fred Hughes
Luke Chaplain is a beef producer from Cloncurry, Queensland. Luke applied to the program along with fellow beef producers Sarah and Fred Hughes to explore an idea to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the movement of livestock.
The team entered the program to clearly define ‘what is the problem’ and ‘what is the demand for their idea. Luke, Sarah and Fred identified an opportunity to explore an alternative to helicopter mustering in order to make the operations of mustering more efficient and cost effective.
The team highlighted that there would be demand from producers who are outlaying significant costs on contract mustering per year with additional benefits of reducing disruptions to herd management and safety, increasing flexibility of unexpected events and the offering of other services such as herd data collection.
“Understanding your customer was the most important thing I learnt in the program”.
Through the program, the team learnt how important customer discovery was in identifying new opportunities that would not have been realised. A major change for Luke and the team was to pivot from a owner-operator model to a service proposition.
Being willing to pivot, adapt and change, F2F really encouraged this and showed me how not to bring too much emotion into it.
The Ideas Program Impact
The team had started to explore a prototype prior to the program and had included numerous features they thought were important. Through the process implemented in the program, it encouraged the team to focus in on those design elements that were of most importance to their potential customers and not over-invest in features that were irrelevant. Similarly, F2F funded Luke to participate in MagTech Brisbane which allowed him to explore new networks and potential partnerships.
In the next three months, Luke has a goal to undertake over 40 customer interviews as well as setting up trials through strategic partnerships with MLA and a South Korean company. He is also looking to set up a growers advisory group and within 12 months have a commercial drone business in operation.