James House, Watheroo WA James House is a wheat and sheep producer form Watheroo in WA. He has identified a gap in the market and is looking to focus on providing a cost-effective 3G rain gauge & frost sensor combination for the broadacre cropping industry.
This agtech project will leverage Telstra's new low power NB-IoT network, combined with a novel use of open-source home automation software to provide an affordable 3G rain gauge & frost sensor combination with a price tag under $500.
James joined the Ideas Program to support his desire to develop a viable business venture and to specifically build his marketing and promotion skills. During the program James interviewed a number of producers to understand their experiences of frost and their current tools to observe and measure rainfall on their property. He remained confident in the value proposition of the smart rain gauge, while realizing that the frost sensor was a less important offering.
His key uncertainty is in the cost to build and ship the product while ensuring it is robust enough to perform on farm. His plan is to offer a number of products to pilot customers to test out the functionality and durability, allowing the customers to return the products if they become faulty.
There are two ways of starting a business. The hard way by learning from your mistakes or the easy way, join F2F and learn from people who have made the mistakes and can teach you how to avoid them skill-fully.
Over the next 3 months, James is planning to complete 20-30 more customer interviews with other producers which he hopes will lead to 4 customers undertaking a pilot test. By September, his goal is to have orders for 6 units. To support his marketing and sales efforts he will develop a website and brochures and look to increase awareness via social media.