Ideas Program 4
28 Feb 2021
Scott Leslie is a sheep and wheat farmer in NSW. His co-founder is Sam Thompson, a teacher. Over a couple of beers at a bar-b-que, Sam and Scott started talking about challenges in the wool industry, and the idea for Sheepo was born.
Scott is bringing his experience in the wool industry to the team, while Sam is bringing his passion for electronics and programming, both hobbies of his.
Scott and Sam’s idea is Sheepo, a bluetooth counter for shearers to keep track of how many sheep they have shorn. Over the course of the program, they conducted over 25 interviews with shearers of various ages, as well as contractors and farmers. A big focus for their interviews was the potential value proposition of a counter; in other words, would shearers want help counting?
Sam and Scott learned that there are differences depending on the age of the shearer. In particular, younger ones are more interested in new technologies, and see more value in the data they could gain from a counter (e.g., around wages, benchmarking, etc.).
Another big insight for Scott and Sam was around the value proposition of Sheepo for contractors. A challenge for contractors is knowing which shearers have been consistently working, as well as having a record of which shearers are shearing more sheep on average.
Based on the insights from customer discovery, Scott and Sam have gained confidence to build an initial prototype for Sheepo.
I found the F2F program to be fantastic. I see it as my 101 into co-founding an agtech company. It taught me that you have to do your research if you want to stand a good chance of succeeding, and that good ideas are worth giving a go!
Just 24 hours after opening applications for potential beta testing by posting in several shearing-related facebook groups, Scott and Sam have interest from 19 shearers willing to test their product. From here, they will be developing their first prototype and testing with a shortlist of shearers to get feedback and evolve the product.