Hatch TEK Program 1
8 Aug 2022
Blake is a repeat founder and a highly skilled engineer with a vast array of entrepreneurial experiences which have taken him around the world. Blake initially grew up on a farm in regional NSW but later attended Monash University where he completed a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering (Honors). In the early years after graduating, Blake started his own drone surveying business out of his garage with a friend, then later in 2017 as a lead engineer developing a Black Soldier Fly farm in Melbourne. In 2018, Blake joined Swoop Aero as one of the initial employees and spent nearly two years as the Flight Operations Lead and RPAS Engineer. Blake is now the Founding Director of Leading Edge Engineering Solutions where he delivers novel, modern solutions to unique problems in a range of industries, including agriculture.
Blake came into the HatchTEK program having already built and deployed a novel product for the measurement of surface-water methane emissions for a variety of water storages, from the smallest farm dams to large lakes and rivers. Through his engineering business, LEES, Blake had developed a highly-scalable, solar powered device which allows users to measure methane, CO2, temperature, humidity and other emissions released at the water’s surface. Blake was building the products in-house on his property near Wodonga and was working closely with senior research staff at the University of Queensland and Deakin University to test and deploy the devices.
Hatch TEK Journey
Despite clearly having the technical nous and having already developed an early prototype, Blake was eager to access deeper networking opportunities and mentoring through the HatchTEK program. Blake had predominantly worked on the product in a research and development capability, and was hoping to further validate the concept and explore opportunities to scale the business operations through relevant customer segments.
Through the program, Blake was able to receive close mentoring in helping conduct market analysis for potential opportunities to scale the business beyond the technological and engineering functions. Blake benefited greatly from being connected closely with a range of other entrepreneurial minds and to develop an understanding of opportunities for strategic partnership across the industry to advance his concept.
The Hatch program was such a motivating experience to be learning alongside this wide range of creative minds.
Blake is looking to continue to accelerate his learning and enhance his product’s growth capability through strategic B2B partnerships. Blake is prioritizing the need to expand his networks and to better tap into current markets with his product or find complimentary service providers which will be interested in bringing his product to market. Underlying this process is the need to establish a clear go-to-market strategy and accompanying business plan, which Blake is currently developing.