We're super excited to announce our newest Harvest Accelerator cohort!
The Harvest Accelerator is a 3 month program designed to equip high potential agtech, food tech or value-added food and beverage businesses with the capabilities you need to scale into national and international markets, deliver transformational growth to your industry and maximise your social and economic contribution through jobs and revenue.
This group of curious, innovative founders are moving Australia's agrifood industry forward and we can't wait to work with them. Read on for an introduction to each of the businesses and an overview of the work they're doing.
COtL - Damon Grace
COtL is an innovative AgTech start-up which establishes and manages high-quality public weather station networks in agricultural regions. These stations have the ability to combat agricultural spray drift, which they found to be a cost issue for the SA agricultural industry. COtL uses cutting-edge meteorological science and sensor technology to display real-time information for growers so that they know when they can spray their crops.
Four Daughters - Karen Penfold
Four Daughters is a family operated beef enterprise from South West Queensland. Their core business is in trading domestic beef, with a second emerging market to source, breed and feed Premium Quality Black Angus Beef for the growing exports markets. The business is currently looking for ways to venture out its branded burger into the Australian market.
Half a Cow is a multi-vendor marketplace for consumers to purchase red meat directly from local farmers. This allows consumers to purchase premium meat straight from the source. Half a Cow have been featured on national TV, increasing traction from local farmers who sell cows, chickens and lamb. They're aiming to change the game for farmers across Australia to help them get online, sell direct and make a fair profit for their hard work.
Single Agriculture - Ben Single
Single Agriculture is a drone weed control technology business led by Ben Single, a Mechanical and Aerospace engineer by profession. The system allows for mapping of individual plants so weeds can be treated in a broadacre farming system. Ben grew up on the family farm outside Coonamble NSW, a 6500ha dryland cropping property and has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the Australian cropping industry whilst also understanding what can be achieved with technology.
SPADES - Jennifer McKee
Spades was created to support farmers/producers with their quality assurance compliance and be up to date with industry standards. The platform enables producers to document, manage and report their records when an audit is required. Spades founder Jennifer McKee has a background in government policy, biosecurity, resource management and compliance auditing. Jennifer is based in the tropical growing region of Far North Queensland and is passionate about making compliance easier for growers and producers by working closely with them to understand their needs.
Fouling Doctors - Tim Hülsen
Fouling Doctors offers automated, in-situ cleaning technology that enables high cleaning frequencies of large surfaces for large onshore and offshore farms. Tim has more than 15 years of experience in wastewater treatment and resource recovery and was a technological expert for several full-scale wastewater treatment plants installations, and product market development leader for ANAMMOX® and PHOSPAQTM technologies at Paques bv.
Five businesses within our Harvest cohort have been supported by Food Futures Company, including:
Yaala Sparkling - Tara Croker
Yaala Sparkling is an Indigenous owned artisan beverage company with a native twist. We create sophisticated and authentic drinks showcasing Indigenous art, culture and stories flavoured with native Australian botanicals.Tara studied a dual degree in Business Administration and International Studies in the UK and Australia. Her career has been in fast paced and ever-changing environments which she loves, including currently at Google, the previous year at CareerTrackers and previous to that 7 years at News Corp working across many aspects of marketing.
Fifth Harvest - Marco Gritta + Brook Kennedy
Fifth Harvest are a vertical farming company delivering hyper-local and sustainable produce to restaurants, retailers and wholesalers that tastes better, lasts longer and is packaged sustainably. Their aim is to decouple food production from environmental degradation and provide food security by shrinking supply chains and growing hyper-locally. Fifth Harvest grows food in inner cities by deploying tech-driven, hyper-local vertical farms, helping our food system reach net zero by 2030.
Blume - Rachel Castelino
Blume is a gut-friendly prebiotic soda catered to the millennial and Gen z consumer who increasingly focus on the ingredients that they put into their body. While working as a brand ambassador for many large beverage companies during university, Rachel was at the heart of customer interactions and their relationship to beverages. Her passion for customer service and delivering excellent beverage experiences fuelled her passion for the food and beverage space.
Yaye - Melissa Cole
Melissa is the owner and founder of Yaye, (pronounced Yah Yah in Arrernte) which means big sister. She launched her range of bath and body products infused with bush medicine plants native to Central Australian in November 2021. She works full time in education - Yaye is her side business that she hopes to make her full-time job within the next 2 years.
Go Micro - Sivam Krish
Go Micro is an AI product that allows farmers to QC their grains and produce which conducts tests to determine the ‘freshness’ and ‘shelf-life’. This technology is currently in the process of testing with QLD and SA Government bodies focusing on grains and has also received interest from two food distributors in the USA. Sivam is an engineer and innovator, with a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in Engineering and BEng from MIT. He has been a leader in emerging technologies for over 20 years and was a pioneer in 3-D printing and artificial intelligence.
LORE Australia - Jesse Lore
LORE Australia is a First Nations owned and operated health and wellness company using native bio-foods. Their purpose is to share knowledge gained over thousands of generations and promote a holistic approach to healthy living. They provide Australian native bio-foods that enhance people’s quality of life and facilitate a connection with the land from which they are sourced.
Stay tuned for updates on what this fantastic cohort accomplishes over the course of the Harvest Accelerator program.