Farmers2Founders is super thrilled to announce the Hatch finalists of the year! From the pool of 50 applicants from all over Australia, only the best 14 made it to the top. Many congratulations to the deserving finalists and a big thank you to all the participants who submitted their applications. We encourage you to reapply in our Muster Program, opening on 15 November 2021.
Just like the name suggests, the F2F Hatch Program is where ideas are ‘hatched’. A short and powerful 6-week program designed for individuals and teams to identify whether their ideas are worth pursuing or require some tweaks. The idea could be or revolve around agtech, agribusiness, an answer to a farm problem or the birth of a new value-added food product. Click here to learn more about the Hatch Program.
All finalists will together go through the hatchery process after completing a prerequisite online course called the F2F Journey Starter that comprises eight modules and a series of activities. Finalists who have completed the Journey Starter course, have found it to be effective and valuable. The final cohort will be given tailored resources, opportunities to network with peer teams and 1:1 business coaching to build capability and confidence to launch new products and services and kick-start new business ventures.
And the 2021 Hatch finalists are…
Amanda Mader - Light Pass, SA
For Amanda, “Every single day in the vineyard, brings new adventures”. A wine producer and viticulturist based in the Barossa Valley, Amanda has an agtech idea aimed at improving water use efficiency and yield estimation with the ultimate aim to optimise wine grape quality. She also owns a 30-hectare vineyard and runs a boutique wine business called Gumpara Wines with her husband. Amanda describes being in the Hatch Program as “an amazing opportunity to say YES to ignite ones fire for all innovators and game changers out there.”
Sarah Donovan - Duaringa, QLD
Sarah is a mixed cropping and cattle producer, who has an agtech idea that she believes will provide benefit to wool, red meat, grains, wine and horticulture producers. Sarah is looking to develop an affordable subscription-based multi-platform application connecting manufacturers of ag chemicals to distributors and primary producers. Sarah applied to the Hatch program to collaborate with like-minded producers and tech developers and to gain access to the tools and support she will need to develop and commercialise her idea.
Lachlan Sutton - Wentworth, NSW
Lachlan has a producer background plus post-graduate qualifications in Agribusiness. His career has been focused on animal agriculture and he has worked in commodity marketing and as a consultant. His idea is to develop an agtech product that utilises predictive analytics and automatic data generation. The benefit he wants to deliver to end customers is to enable them to better quantify the key drivers in their production system allowing improved productivity and profitability. Lachlan hopes that participation in the Hatch Program will enable him to assess the potential of the system and to develop a viable concept to launch into the market.
Helen Burvill – Curlewis, VIC
Helen is the Executive Officer of the Eastern Zone Abalone Industry Association. She has an idea to develop a cosmetic line using sea waste in powdered form, which she believes will provide the industry with enhanced sustainability credentials. Helen has applied to the Hatch program seeking assistance to validate the commercial potential of her concept.
Brendan Dobson – Northfield, SA
Brendan has established Ecosystem Farms that grows fish and other products in a recirculating soil-less system. Brendan is looking to explore the commercial potential of his technology and has identified several potential customer segments. He believes he can provide benefits across a range of agricultural sectors in addition to the aquaculture industry. Brendan applied to the Hatch program to gain support to develop a viable pathway to market.
Jasmine Ryan – Barry, NSW
Jasmine has been grain-growing with her husband Brett for over 13 years. Jasmine’s idea involves producing her buckwheat and wheat flour from an on-farm mill and offering it to the customers with paddock and farmer traceability. She aims to target customers whose interests lie in supporting Australian made products and who want to know where their food is coming from. She sees the distribution of her value-add product in local eateries, grocery stores, bakeries, boutique businesses and through Meta, Instagram and website. She joined the Hatch program to gain support in developing her brand and a sustainable business plan.
Heather Cameron – Bell, QLD
Heather is a beef producer, who originally applied to the Hatch Program to explore her idea for a mobile/semi-mobile abattoir. Heather is strongly motivated to enhance animal welfare practices and is also looking to capture more value back into her farming enterprise. Discussions with the F2F team highlighted the significant regulatory barriers associated with introducing mobile abattoirs into QLD. As a result, Helen will use her participation in the Hatch Program to explore new ways to create and capture value from her livestock.
Michelle Li – Strathalbyn, SA
Michelle has completed a degree in viticulture and is currently working as an assistant winemaker in South Australia. Michelle has an idea to develop a program where people with winemaking interests can make their own wine, to address the issue of surplus grapes at the end of the harvest season. She applied to join the Hatch program to test the validity of her concept and to determine if it could have commercial potential.
Ben Tyler – Millner, NT
Ben is an entrepreneur and the founder of bush food brand Kakadu Kitchen. He is looking to build a non-alcohol distillery infusing Kakadu botanical flavours into alcohol-free spirits. Ben’s challenge is sustainable harvesting of Kakadu botanical ingredients as opposed to relying on wild harvesting from the bush in Kakadu National Park; and so, his idea is to build an indoor farm with an automated system to control climate and diseases and have all-year access to fresh Kakadu bush ingredients. Through the Hatch program, Ben is seeking investment opportunities and technological expertise on how to build the automated farm.
Dr Francesca Brailsford, Prof. Daniel Murphy, Dr Rowan Maddern – Crawley, WA
Francesca, Daniel and Rowan are researchers based in Western Australia and are currently working on a GRDC-funded gravel soils project. Ironstone gravel soils make up approximately 3 million hectares of agricultural land in the southwest of Western Australia, with further occurrences in South Australia and Victoria. They are often overlooked by growers due to hard management and bound up phosphorous that makes them less plant available. Therefore, the trio is focusing on investigating the commercial potential of a diagnostic tool to characterise gravel soil and allow nutrient management suggestions for growers and consultants. Through participation in the Hatch Program, the research team would like help to assess the commercial viability of the tool and gain grower feedback.
Annika Happel - Narembeen, WA
Annika is an assistant Farm Manager in a wheat and sheep farm in WA’s Wheatbelt. She is also pursuing her Bachelor of Agribusiness from the University of England. Annika’s idea is to create a mobile application enabling employers and employees to create farm-specific notes on work procedures thus forming a farm-relevant learning platform. She would like to eliminate the inconvenience farm employees face when it comes to taking notes on operating machinery and retaining information on the farm. By taking part in the Hatch program, Annika would like to validate her business idea.
David Rochaya – Southport, QLD
David is the founder of Biopower Solutions and has a background in process and combustion engineering. Through his startup, Biopower Solutions, David aims to develop a novel, modular and scalable solution to convert grain residues into hydrogen. David is also seeking an industry partner to demonstrate the technology. By applying to the Hatch program, David’s goal is to test his value proposition and engage with like-minded agribusinesses on the program journey.
Jock McRae – Griffith, NSW
Jock is currently studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University. He desires to work in the Australian hemp industry in an advisory role. Jock envisages using a product from Indigenous Australian species as a renewable alternative to fossil fuel-based products. Jock applied to the Hatch program to collaborate with fellow innovators and to work out whether his idea has potential or not.
Thomas Tadrowski, Bernard Fitzpatrick - Winthrop, WA
Thomas has a background in mapping, measurement and precision farming, with formal qualifications in surveying, remote sensing and photogrammetric engineering, while Bernard is a geographer with a background in remote sensing and spatial analysis. The duo has an agtech idea to democratise technology for precision guidance and auto-steering of tractors and machinery on farms. With democratise he refers to the technology implementation as easy, robust, economical, failsafe and community shared. By applying to the Hatch program, he aims to have a better understanding of farming goals with respect to machinery, so he can develop suitable precision guidance technology benefitting the industry.
We want to thank AgriFutures, AWI, MLA, FRDC, Wine Australia and GRDC for their continued support of Farmers2Founders and the Hatch Program. It will be exciting to see where these teams will be in 6 weeks time once they graduate from the program.