Hatch TEK Program 1
8 Aug 2022
Shane is the founder of Inspire 360, an Australian distributor for a European technology solutions provider. Together they focus on public infrastructure with “smart devices”, such as solar powered benches that provide device charging infrastructure, WiFi portal and digital advertising space, in addition to IoT air quality monitoring devices, by way of example. Shane joined the program with a view to exploring the opportunity to leverage this technology for adaptation into the Agricultural sector.
Hatch TEK Journey
Shane’s initial idea about what problems he could address in Agriculture, came from his own experience as a new landholder with a parcel of land in a Trust for Nature covenant on his farming property. Through this experience he identified a gap in the monitoring of environmental conditions for covenant agreement compliance.
Shane has a long history of working a sales and business development role in his previous businesses and he initially found it challenging to adopt the lean start-up principles from a practice change point of view. Coupled with having a limited agricultural sector network and a significant primary business workload, as a result, he experienced some delay in getting traction on customer interviews. Shane was provided with suggestions for ways to reach out to key stakeholders who might be experiencing challenges in the Trust for Nature or similar space as well as an introduction to a primary producer and specialist in the fire management and agriculture space with a similar problem.
Shane was able to gain better traction in the later stage of the project, however, did not have a significant validation of customer problem assumptions due to the limited number of customer interviews completed. Shane did establish a significant rapport with the fire specialist he was introduced to. This primarily producer and consultant deals with risk and opportunity associated with planned and unplanned fire management in agriculture, particularly as it relates to upstream identification of risk and environmental conditions. Through the HatchTEK program, Shane was also able to identify constraints with the size of the market and number of customers in the Trust for Nature conservancy market space, which also influenced his decision to pivot into fire management space.
Shane plans to undertake further customer discovery with primary producers and specialists in natural resource and fire management, including industry associations and private contractors. He is addressing the issue of monitoring and measuring the impact of controlled fire, frequently utilised in agricultural land management. In particular, he had identified a need to report the effect of wildfire on both pasture production and soil health, which has significant links to the carbon markets in Australia and globally. Shane has been able to identify that there is nothing in the current marketplace that addresses the problem of monitoring and measuring these factors coupled with the ability to share information with stakeholders.
Share was an enthusiastic contributor to group discussions and in one-one-one coaching. He attended all the workshop sessions and established a good rapport with other participants.
Totally helpful and insightful. Highly recommended
Shane indicated that he will continue to utilise the lean start-up principles he has learned through the program and is also applying them to his existing public infrastructure market. He is continuing to work with the fire expert in identifying more customers to interview to validate assumptions and understand the potential market to ensure an appropriate fit with a solution he will propose development of. Shane will need to navigate some issues around IP ownership with the existing technology owner and manufacturer which he is aligned with as the Australian distributor.