We supported the NSW Department of Primary Industries to review, refresh and deliver their Global Ag-Tech EcoSystem incubator program. Participants were supported to deliver positive outcomes from their research, increase return on investment potential, solidify connections with stakeholders/customers, and deliver benefits to society, industry and global agricultural sectors.
Image: Meat quality assessment for individual animals project team / NSW Department of Primary Industries
Image: Weed DNA team / NSW Department of Primary Industries
Image: NSW Department of Primary Industries
The GATE program is designed to fast-track the adoption of agricultural research and development and increase productivity. Through its incubation program, GATE coaches teams that are pre-revenue and pre-customer, helping them with customer discovery, problem-solution fit and communicating their impact. Running since 2018, DPI wanted to refresh the design and delivery of GATE to meet changing needs of innovators and consumers. Our team was engaged to enhance GATE's service offering and deliver a more bespoke experience to participants. Together with the DPI, in 2020 we strove to deliver the program online to participants in regional and remote areas of Australia.
Working with DPI, we designed an innovative, immersive incubation program. Together with participants, we mapped the ecosystem, exploring stakeholder requirements and executing a deep investigation of agricultural business models. We delivered training sessions, offering toolkit materials and online engagement tools for all participants. With value proposition and business model canvases, pitch and storytelling training, impact launch plans and an exploration of stakeholder engagement methods and approaches, we helped teams mature through the entrepreneurial stages. Our program design saw them move from idea to market by proving that solutions solve real customer problems - and that businesses can be built around solutions.
With the refreshed design of GATE, teams can identify new ways of delivering positive outcomes to the public, increasing their earning potential and connecting with stakeholders and customers. 9 new ventures were successfully incubated, with over 20 researchers and entrepreneurs learning new innovations and skills to improve their business performance. Now, they can make their research and technology accessible to all capabilities, attracting diverse investors, partners and clients. One of the teams is in the process of partnering with Latin American entrepreneurs to deliver their solution internationally - expanding the ongoing impact of GATE across the world.
In light of the global pandemic, we pivoted our entire program to digital/online mediums. Training researchers located in rural and remote areas, we utilised online tools, including whiteboards, teleconferencing and digital interviews in accessible ways. Adapting our delivery to being 100% online, we catered to participants with limited internet and phone connections - allowing flexible engagement in and out of session while still being fully immersed in the program.
COVID restrictions also meant our DemoDay needed to be adapted. Traditionally held in-person at a convention centre, the 2020 DemoDay was transformed into a digital event - available to a global audience. Over 400 audience members turned in from around the world to listen to our team's pitches.