Gippsland has received the nod to host Farmers2Founders’ (F2F) second workshop, linking primary producers to global innovation and technology experts. The free workshops are an Australian first, exposing producers to trends in food, agriculture, and technology that are creating both challenges and opportunities. It will also connect them with examples and tools to capitalise on these opportunities.
Farmers2Founders was established by thought leaders and innovation specialists Sarah Nolet (AgThentic) and Dr. Christine Pitt (Food Futures Company). The co-founders saw a gap between the agriculture and tech communities, and knew a unique project was needed to solve the problem.
Sarah Nolet explains, “our aim is to elevate the role of producers to solve real problems. Producers have hard-won expertise, insights, context, and networks. We must unlock this potential and enable producers to catalyse more high value agrifood innovations.”
“Agriculture is predicted to become Australia’s next $100bn industry by 2030 and we want to ensure producers play a key role. F2F aims to help producers build entrepreneurial and technological skills via tools, resources, coaching and support so they can participate directly in bringing new agtech, foodtech, and food ventures to market with a platform primed for global exposure”, says Ms Nolet.
Local primary producer and director of Gippsland Natural Beef, Paul Crock said ventures like F2F are vital for farmers to get their boot in the technological door. Crock experienced firsthand such benefits after attending food and agtech incubator program Rocket Seeder, which provided high-performance coaching when he was looking to scale up the producer-owned cooperative-style operation.
“You might be sitting on the farm and have a great idea, but unless you know the lingo and understand the tools that are available, you’re not going to get anywhere. This is where accelerator programs help producers. They teach you the processes and procedures you need and how to think along the lines of an investor. You learn how to pitch and what will successfully see investors take in interest in your idea or product. The scope for investment is huge and farmers need to jump onboard”, says Mr Crock.
Following the workshops, producers can apply for the F2F innovation streams in agtech, foodtech, and food innovation. The workshop will be held at Federation University, May 22 2019. Please register online. Farmers2Founders is proudly supported by AgriFutures Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Meat & Livestock Australia, and Wine Australia.
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