Farmers and producers from Victoria now have the chance to join in on a world-first program aimed at turning farmers into agtech founders.
Following a successful event held last month in Queensland, Farmers2Founders are inviting Victorian producers to sign up for its workshop, to be held at the Federation University Gippsland campus.
Farmers2Founders is a joint initiative between Dr Christine Pitt, known for her work as the former CEO of the MLA Donor Company and founder and CEO of the Food Futures Company and Sarah Nolet, partner and CEO of AgThentic amongst other projects.
Aimed at linking linking primary producers with global innovation and technology experts, the free workshops aim to expose producers to trends in food, agriculture, and technology that are creating both challenges and opportunities.
The workshops also aim to take a proportion of the attendees through to further develop their agtech ideas or innovations.
Ms Nolet said the ultimate aim of the program is to empower producers solve real world problems though technology and innovation.
"Producers have hard-won expertise, insights, context, and networks," she said.
"We must unlock this potential and enable producers to catalyse more high value agrifood innovations.
"Farmers2Founders 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."
Local primary producer and director of Gippsland Natural Beef, Paul Crock said ventures like Farmers2Founders are vital for farmers to get their boot in the technological door.
Mr Crock said he 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," he said.
"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."
The workshop will be held at Federation University, May 22 2019. Registrations can be made online at Farmers2Founders.com