Ideas Program 1
28 Feb 2019
Penny and Jo were dissatisfied with a fragmented livestock marketing system and were keen to find solutions to bring about more transparency and more options that suited the needs of producers and stock agents. The pair came up with a new idea over a drink one evening while complaining about their frustrations with the current processes.
As livestock producers themselves, Penny and Jo understood the pain points felt by others. Penny co-owns and manages Schulz Livestock, a sheep and beef farm, and also consults to the dairy, beef and sheep industries. Jo is a director in her family’s sheep farming business, and runs a 5000-merino breeding ewe enterprise with her husband.
Coming into the Farmers2Founders Ideas Program, Penny and Jo’s idea was to create a meta-search engine to help livestock producers to source animals and encourage stock agency firms to post their sale lots online with consistent livestock description language.
During the Ideas Program, Penny and Jo reviewed the idea for their product and realised that they did not have a good way to incentivize agents to cooperate. The program pushed them to go out and talk to their potential customers and users to understand what incentives might get these agents willing to use such a product.
We’re so glad that we did go and have all those conversations and realise we were on the wrong track.
Penny and Jo created a basic prototype of this new product using off the shelf software, and are now working with a pilot customer to test the concept in action. If all goes well, they’ll be aiming to have a minimum viable product in the market in 2020.
“Agents are often held up as the bad guy that everyone wants to disrupt. But a great agent is worth their weight in gold. We think that our product can be a win win, helping agents do their jobs better so they can help their client producers better.”
“We wouldn’t be here without the guidance and coaching we received from Farmers2Founders. The expertise and level of support we received really blew us away. The format is also set up to support producers - remote, flexible, and covering travel costs as well, which made a big difference for us being able to get off farm.”
Penny Schulz and Jo Williams graduated from the F2F 2019 Ideas Program, and are based in South Australia.