Gabriel Thelan

Hatch TEK Program 1

8 Aug 2022

Gabriel Thelan


Through living regionally near Euroa Gabriel became interested in the field of horticulture and commenced a Bachelor of Horticulture through Charles Sturt University. During his degree, Gabriel became interested in Hydroponics and started formulating the idea around AdaptiGrow. Feeling he needed support to further his solution he joined Telstra’s Muru-D Accelerator. During the 1 year program Gabriel built the MVP of his compact hydroponic self regulating device. Gabriel then started a Masters in Astronomy as he sees opportunities for his technology in off-world, space agriculture. Gabriel is pursuing his idea through both a research and startup pathway.

Gabriel has developed a planter supported by a fully automated SAAS platform for optimising growing conditions. Although initially focused on the hydroponic grower, Gabriel could see the opportunity for the product to be used to support science teachers in horticultural studies. Gabriel’s innovative plant pot has the ability to grow large plants without worrying about the root space or overhead limits of current options in the market.

Hatch TEK Journey

Gabriel has been an active member of the Hatch TEK program being a willing volunteer to share his ideas and progress and keeping up to date with all weekly tasks.
Gabriel’s goals coming into the program were to reboot his business following a methodical framework with a detailed step by step approach, gaining deeper insight and understanding of his target customer segment - which he self identified as his greatest area for development, and building his network in the startup community.

Gabriel’s key customer segments include:
-Schools with life science programs that are interested in practical demonstrations and utilising technology for learning.
-Busy urban dwellers/indoor growers looking to grow medium to large ornamental and food producing plants with more success.

Gabriel’s exploration of both customer segments led to his understanding of the difficulty in receiving feedback without a value proposition in what the contributor received in the process. He believed school teachers would be actively seeking solutions like AdaptiGrow but through his discussion with a range of key stakeholders he came to understand that accessing the education market was going to take a more sales led approach while his second market of busy urban dwellers were collaborative and keen to support his initiative. Gabriel has been open to suggestions and ideas from coaches and fellow participants - taking on feedback and exploring it during the week for relay at the following session. Gabriel is coming to a deeper understanding of where the value in his product lies through his customer discovery.

The Hatch TEK program allowed me to get my idea off the ground and test my assumptions with customers. It was collaborative, interactive and fun, with a collegial atmosphere shared with other like-minded start-up founders.

What's Next?

Gabriel’s continuing to pursue both customer segments. The B2C offering is available through the AdaptiGrow website although Gabriel is needing to work through the manufacturing costs and availability of his technician to have more produced. To increase his community with a future view to obtain funding, Gabriel is developing his online presence through capturing the current growing season with videos and imagery to develop the website and social media pages.

For his focus on AdaptiGrow as a teaching tool, Gabriel is reaching out through his network to start conducting some free demonstrations in public schools around his area to gain feedback and insights in how best the tool can be used and what materials will be needed to support student and teacher engagement with his product. Gabriel is keen to continue the pre-accelerator pathway into Hone.

Program Partners