Hatch TEK Program 1
8 Aug 2022
Yasin Gulec is a highly qualified engineer with past experience as an entrepreneur and company founder. Yasin graduated from a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering in 2013 and had a brief stint working for a company contracted to Airbus where he learnt to code and develop software. Using these skills, Yasin started a data-management software company with a friend in 2015 and a sports science research company in 2017 with his brother. Yasin is deeply technologically minded and has a self-professed love for delving into complex papers that explore unique technologies. Yasin came into the HatchTEK program looking to expand on a different business idea altogether, aiming to support local farmers in his Shepparton region where his family farm is located.
Yasin approached the HatchTEK program to explore the opportunity to build and expand a drone-as-a-service weed spraying business. Yasin was exposed to the problem initially through his family's own experience on their farm managing weed infestations and the difficulty in accessing those weeds in hilly areas. Typical methods of managing these weeds include using a ground-mounted weed spraying system or helicopter contractors, both options which were not feasible for the scale and nature of their issue. Yasin saw an opportunity to utilise the maneuverability and accuracy of drones for hard-to-reach areas for spraying and managing weeds, such as Pattersons Curse and blackberry. Yasin also wanted to explore the complimentary opportunities that using drones may provide, such as land assessment services. Yasin has a CASA registered remote operator’s certificate and has experience successfully spraying weeds with a spray drone he owns.
Hatch TEK Journey
Yasin was hoping the HatchTEK program would provide him with tools to help refine his idea and better understand the issues that different producers may have with traditional spraying services. Initially, Yasin identified a few key customer segments, mainly producers with blackberry infestations in hard-to-reach areas. Throughout the HatchTEK program, Yasin was given the chance to speak with a variety of producers and conduct customer discovery with other potential customers. Yasin was able to expand his customer segment focus to include orchardists who might benefit from aerial mapping and assessments, as well as local Councils who are required to manage weeds in their region. These discussions proved highly valuable for Yasin who was able to validate many of his assumptions about the producer segments he initially saw as the primary target.
However, he also identified a range of challenges with the customers he was approaching and had to carefully consider how to present the value proposition of his service to producers or customers who may not be as familiar with the benefits of drone use. Yasin has graduated from the HatchTEK program with a streamlined understanding of how his business can be developed, the key priority markets and a stronger enthusiasm for making his business a reality.
The Hatch program was really good, it provided me with some really clear steps about how to validate my idea and turn it into a business.
Yasin will be looking to conduct more interviews of customers within the refined segments he is focussing on. He will also continue to explore other opportunities that may be apparent in sectors such as horticulture and viticulture. In the next few months, Yasin will be trying to develop an appropriate business model that will deliver the most value to producers, as well as developing an online presence for marketing.