A regional program has inducted it's first group of innovators in the field of agricultural technology.
Led by the Central Highlands Development Corporation, the AgFrontier incubator program received more than 30 applications from startups from inland Queensland and north west NSW.
The first agtech incubator of its kind in Queensland, AgFrontier provides regionally-based startups a dedicated incubator program designed for rural entrepreneurs with a practical understanding of agriculture.
CHDC agribusiness development coordinator Liz Alexander said the program is a combination of major events, site visits and co-working with intensive support.
"CHDC is really excited by the quality of ideas and can-do attitude of the successful cohort," she said.
"Because these individuals live and work in agriculture and the regions, everyone here has a powerful connection, knowledge and motivation to solve real problems.
"The group bonded immediately and members have commented on how much they are enjoying being with and connecting with other like-minded people."
The innovators joining the 2019 inaugural AgFrontier cohort are:
- Kurt Mayne, Lewis & David Rolfe, Broken Plains Pastoral, Rolleston & Morven
- Tim & Peta Neale, Data Farming, Toowoomba
- Erica Hughes, Farmer Meets Foodie, Mt Molloy
- Ben Harzer, Thin and Trim Holdings, Gayndah
- Juxi Leitner, Norton Kelly-Boxall & Nicole Robinson, LYRO Robotics, Brisbane
- Natalie Engel, One Platform (Bos C Agri), Rolleston
- Grant Brennan, Spotbooked, Taroom
- Jocie & Andrew Bate, SwarmFarm, Gindie
- Alan McIndoe, Top End Pollination, Emerald
- Toby Harpham & Jason McNeice, Turnkey BI, Toowoomba
DataFarming CEO Tim Neale said it was awesome to be accepted and involved into the program.
"Even though we've lots of business experience, the world's changing so quickly that we need to have the tools and support to adapt to be successful in the future. We're looking forward to learning, particularly about how to scale globally, and the tools in the AgFrontier program will enable us to do that," he said.
"There's no-one pushing something that's all sizzle and no sausage here!"
Mrs Alexander said the group will showcase their product or service at the Emerald AgTeCH19 and Mungindi AgTeCH20 events and can pitch to relevant investors at the incubator's conclusion.
"Other programs offered in Australia generally take the innovator out of their regional setting, delivering a short-term activity in a capital city, rather than bringing the program to them at the grass roots," she said.