Strategic well-being: Tips for founders by founders.

New year, new milestones to reach, new customers to attain, new product features to launch, new employees to hire…. This list could go on and on for most deep tech start-up founders. It is early in a new year and these goals seem exciting and achievable. I mean, there is an entire year ahead of us, right?

Most start-up founders may not have factored in their personal well-being into their ever-growing 2019 roadmap. This is worrying.

Much light has been shed on the tough (but equally rewarding!) life of a founder — pressure from investors, employees and customers plus the worry of cash flow, family commitments, etc. I could go on, but most readers already live this reality.

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Michelle Chee
Superstar Snippets | Brooke Sauer’s secret formula to building great relationships with farmers and agronomists

Finding and talking to farmers can be really hard and breaking into these tightknit communities requires a strategic plan. If you’re an agtech company, this is a challenge you will likely face at some point in your career.

So what’s the secret formula? How do you get in front of farmers, contractors or agronomists and get their buy-in to help shape your product?

Who better to help us find the answers than all around Superstar and GrowLab mentor Brooke Sauer? With more than 15 years experience in digital agriculture, Brooke has worked out the best ways to bring tech to farmers and agronomists. Over the last couple of years Brooke has gained a reputation for being the go-to expert for agtech startups, bringing real-world experience in adopting and using agtech. Brooke is valued for her cut-to-the-chase, brutally honest approach to mentorship and guidance.


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Michelle Chee
Announcing Venture Matching at Cicada GrowLab

Today we’re announcing a new program to match talented people from the commercial world with amazing agrifood technologists. Each step of the way will be laid out for you from finding the right people to join your team to building a world-leading agrifood tech startup company. Interested to learn more? Register here to be kept in the loop!

Since 2000, we’ve had more deep tech teams that anywhere else in Australia call Cicada Innovations home. One thing’s for sure, it’s the people and team behind invention that correlates most strongly to their success.

We love it when we see those more science-minded take their know-how and harness the grit to solve big problems, turning great research into a great business.

But it’s not easy. Teams that work are a combination of skills, experience, personalities and old fashioned chemistry. There is no one formula.

At GrowLab, we want to help teams that already have great science and technology with some of that commercial magic and marketing pizazz that’s needed to build a great startup.

So we are running this pilot program, to see if we can either:

1. Bring teams together than wouldn’t otherwise startup

2. Supercharge teams that already exist


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Michelle Chee
What’s the big deal about agrifood tech?

When we first started in agtech, everytime we mentioned the term, it was quickly followed by the clarification “agricultural technology”. Today, as we sit on the cusp of wrapping up GrowLab’s second crop of startups in as many years, the term agtech is no long met by wrinkled brows and quizzical looks. Not as much anyway! Australia’s come a long way since GrowLab first sprouted onto the scene. Over just a couple of years, the agtech ecosystem has well and truly blossomed. There are now 3 accelerator programs, several pre-accelerators and many other programs supporting aspiring agtech entrepreneurs across metro and regional Australia. 3 major conferences on agtech take place every year, bringing together the brightest minds in the space. And as of very recently, there’s even an Australian agtech-specific venture fund raising funds to invest into what is fast becoming a booming new industry.

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Michelle Chee
Superstar Snippets | Tristan Shannon’s tips for building great agtech products

At GrowLab we pick the superstars in agrifood tech to mentor and support our portfolio companies. So here’s the first of our ‘Superstar snippets’ from one of these mentors to get you on your way to building great products. Over the coming months we are going to bring you more and more of these, so stay tuned!

So, if you’re an agtech founder or aspiring to be one, it’s pretty much a given that you will have asked yourself the question “how do I build a great agtech product?” at some point in your career. Let’s find out!

Click here to read the full story on Medium.

Michelle Chee