Hatch Program 2021
13 Nov 2021
Annika Happel is an assistant Farm Manager in a wheat sheep farm in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. While working full-time, she is also pursuing her Bachelor of Agribusiness from the University of England.
According to Safe Work Australia, seven out of ten fatalities in agriculture involves plant, machinery operation and vehicles on farms. Annika’s concept is to develop a mobile application that allows primary producers and farm staff to share and amend farm-specific data such as procedures and instructions, thus forming a farm-relevant learning platform aimed to improve farm productivity and workplace safety.
The idea was conceived after Annika was left baffled, and with unclear notes, she took on the farm to operate machinery. As the Farm Manager, she frequently comes across the same problem while training new employees, especially backpackers and seasonal workers.
Annika participated in the Hatch program to validate her idea, receive feedback and intake from other primary producers and plan the next steps in developing a potential business concept.
During the Hatch program Annika interviews other producers and also farm workers (both backpackers and seasonal employees). She was able to validate that her mobile application could provide multiple benefits to both primary producers and farmworkers. Specifically, producers confirmed they could save time by not repeating instructions to new employees, reducing workplace fatalities, and decreasing the rate of machinery damage caused by inexperienced staff.
Farmworkers believed the app would assist them to upskill themselves by following instructions/training for farm operations and creating notes on the app to support their learning. Annika created a strong value proposition and using the Lean Canvas methodology, she was able to identify a targeted segment within the market. Annika now feels confident to move on to the next steps.
The Hatch Program is a great opportunity to receive feedback on your idea, and to understand how to fulfill the customer’s preferences.
Annika plans to increase the number and diversity of customer interviews in 2022 once the harvesting season is finished and she will incorporate the key insights and findings into the design of her mobile application. The next step will be to create a prototype of the app and determine if there is likely to be widespread uptake of the concept before she invests in actual software development.