Torocle - Joe Davis
Hone Program 2022
1 May 2022
Joe Davis has been a production animal vet in Australia and the UK for the last 20 years. Joe owns a private practice servicing predominately beef and dairy cattle near Busselton, Western Australia. Parts of Joe’s current role is to prepare animals for sale and as a government veterinary inspector. Joe has completed qualifications in ruminant nutrition and more recently completed a postgraduate certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UWA.
Through his work Joe saw the stress and cost for farmers when they could not confirm the vaccination status of animals in the feedlot. The problem for the farmer meant having to re-vaccinate all cattle to ensure protection to the larger herd at cost and time and an under maximised market for the sellers of vaccinated cattle. Joe believed greater transparency and accountability in the vaccination process could reduce the risk of incorrect record keeping and reduce disease for cattle.
Joe believed using the electronic identification (EID) tag to capture and record all vaccinations could provide a vaccination passport for animals that could be accessed through an application and website for real time data.
Through his industry knowledge Joe had already recognised the problem for farmers however it was through his customer discovery in the Hatch program that he validated the need to improve trust for improved economics between feeder cattle buyers and producers in order to reduce illnesses such as feedlot pneumonia. The current NVD is only understood to be trustworthy if the seller is known to the producer or stock agent.
Joe’s research indicated it was a beneficial time to enter this market as the USA and EU move towards mandatory EID tagging for all cattle. The feedback collected during the Hatch program indicated to Joe the need for a simple, uncomplicated application that had the opportunity to record more data than just vaccination. He discovered technology that would ai detect vaccination batch numbers and allow for single use only of batch numbers which could add trust to his software.
To create a test prototype, Joe undertook a Microsoft Power Apps course to develop a low-code interface that would allow him to obtain feedback from customers and provide a detailed wireframe design for future development of functionality.
Joe’s experience through the Hone program was focussed on understanding the business viability of his solution, gaining go to market insights and building a strong brand for his company Torocle.
During the program Joe developed his social media presence, developing his LinkedIn profile further for his startup, choosing his business name and brand look and feel. Joe explored partnerships within his own network during the program, approaching current customer producers and pharmaceutical providers to gauge level of interest.
Joe has now identified his value proposition as a verified, digital health record for cattle using a smartphone scan and app that will travel with them between farms, feedlots and ultimately, to the abattoir.
I would like to thank Farmers2Founders for the chance to participate in the Hone program. I have learnt that the key to any business is a well formed business model canvas. I have made huge strides in my business with the one on one mentoring sessions and really enjoyed being a part of a supportive cohort which has served to keep me accountable."
Post Hone, Joe is working towards a feasibility study with 1-2 feedlots. Within 6 months he hopes to have developed his MVP, locked down costings and investigated early stage investment opportunities. Joe has said his greatest learning through Hone is clarity – how not to overcomplicate things. Joe is in the process of developing an early stage go-to-market plan including the development of simple marketing assets to create awareness and support early customer acquisition.