Hatch Program 2021
13 Nov 2021
Among agricultural products, wine is one of the most delicate and nuanced of all. And given climate change, including rain and heatwaves and historical traditions such as manual labour, it is critical to improve vineyards' water use efficiency and yield estimation to fight the challenges in producing high-quality winegrapes and wine. Around the world, viticulturists are experimenting with adaptations to extreme weather conditions, sustainably using resources and reducing labour.
Viticulturist Amanda Mader from Barossa Valley, South Australia has been at the forefront of grape growing. She identified a method to increase the water use efficiency and yield estimation with an ultimate aim to optimise wine grape quality in vineyards.
Amanda, the 7th generation grower and winemaker produces premium boutique wines under the label of Gumpara Wines in Barossa Valley. She also provides vineyard monitoring and technical support services through her company Vine Scout to the small and medium-sized vineyard and wine companies in South Australia.
Amanda entered the Hatch Program with a developed prototype under test. She aimed to gain a clear direction for her idea to be commercially viable.
Amanda's concept involves tracking continuous bunch weight measurement of wine grapes from veraison to harvest by using a load cell and data logger that will eventually help growers make informed decisions and preserve the quality of the grapes. Amanda conducted over 20 interviews, which deepened her understanding of the customer problems that her agtech idea will address in the future. In addition, the coaching calls with the F2F team helped Amanda make significant progress in communicating the real and tangible benefits delivered to end-users through her product.
The group coaching sessions pushed Amanda to explore different commercial end-points for her product and the possibility of adding them to her business model as a point of difference to others in the market. For example, direct grower purchase, equipment leasing, exclusive usage through her Vine Scout business. While she has already tested her product at one site through the 2020/21 summer season, she will perform trials and continuous prototype development
Hatching an authentic idea into reality opens up a new dynamic, energy and opportunity in this vast wide world.
Over the next three months, Amanda has locked four locations for prototype testing, including a grape production research site with an increased understanding of product benefits. In addition, she will be setting up demonstration days for potential stakeholders.
Simultaneously, Amanda will be working on her pitching capability by applying the learnings gathered through the program and is keen to progress her idea through future F2F programs.