Western Australian agtech company SWAN Systems has won a major international startup competition, FoodBytes! Pitch 2020.
A precision irrigation and fertiliser platform founded by farmers in WA in 2016, SWAN Systems competed against finalists from across five countries at the FoodBytes! Virtual Pitch 2020 before being named the global agtech category winner.
Run by global food and agribusiness bank Rabobank, FoodBytes! is an international program which facilitates mentoring and showcases food and agri startup companies to corporate leaders, investors and the wider market.
SWAN Systems and NSW ag tech startup ProAgni, which produces antibiotic-free livestock feeds, were among the 15 finalists selected from an original field of almost 340 applications from across 14 countries, based on their innovative solutions to major food system challenges.
SWAN Systems co-founder Rod Campbell said the company couldn't be more thrilled.
"This award is great validation of the work we're doing to create a more sustainable food system that can adapt to the challenges of today's world. Living the problem in the world's driest inhabited continent has driven the need for innovation in how water is managed," Mr Campbell said.
The SWAN Systems platform is designed to deliver smarter resource management to growers and irrigators, allowing them to precisely schedule, deliver, monitor and report on water and nutrient consumption to improve economic and environmental outcomes.
Rabobank Australia head of innovation, knowledge and networks Nathalie Gibson said SWAN Systems stood out from a strong global field of applicants based on the "innovative solutions they had developed to contribute to a more sustainable and efficient food supply".
"I'm thrilled that the Swan Systems team is being recognised on the global stage for its data insights around water, helping deliver smarter resource management to growers and irrigators in Australia. I wish them all the best with growing their business internationally with a focus on the important topic of water management to help our food supply," she said.
Receiving a cash prize and consulting support to contribute to their business growth, Mr Campbell said the win, and the relationships formed through the FoodBytes! program, would help SWAN with its planned expansion into the US in 2021.