Sometimes, it takes help from the right people to get your idea off the ground or perhaps even a guardian angel.
Odette Suitor of Grain Storage (Patent Pending AU2019900904) will pitch to the AgTech Angel Investor Network (AAIN) at the AgSmart Expo on Thursday, September 7, in Bendigo.
She is one of the start-ups selected for AAIN's Pitch to Paddock initiative and has a chance to win a $10,000 prize.
Coming from a generational farming background, Odette has always felt at home working in the agricultural industry. After growing up on a farm in Tasmania and studying agricultural science and farming, she worked with Elders Australia-wide. This saw her set up the export of some grain to both China and Indonesia.
While she was farming the land, she had an idea. "I thought, this is ridiculous, shifting it in the sun with truck delays and packing delays," Odette said.
"The longer the grain stays in the paddock, it loses quality, so we want it up as fast as we can."
She thought back to when she was using shipping containers in previous work and came up with the idea of using them to store grain.
She and her partner have been working on it for more than eight years, and they've built three prototypes to iron out any complications.
It's a grain storage system that can hold 500 tonnes. The most valuable feature is that it allows all the grain from the chaser bin to go directly into the storage, eliminating the need for trucks and increasing the harvest pace.
Odette was also a finalist in the 2019 Victorian AgriFutures Rural Women's Award. Now, she's ready to go to market, and the funding from Pitch to Paddock would be invaluable.
"We're ready, but exhibiting at field days is a costly expense, so the money would be very beneficial to get us going, and the future investment will help us get cracking," she said.
We're at the centre of innovation in our farming and regional communities, because there's no doubt that ag is our great competitive advantage in Australia.- Sam Almaliki, AAIN founder
"It's great we have this event to showcase what's around in the industry, and it's definitely going to be exciting to see what else is exhibiting in that space."
AAIN founder and facilitator Sam Almaliki said he's long been passionate about regional communities and agricultural technology.
AAIN's initiative, Pitch to Paddock, has been deliberately designed to align pitch events for ag-tech start-ups for industry events so that they're not only pitching to potential investors but to customers and industry experts as well.
"It's really putting innovation at the face of commercialisation," he said.
"We're at the centre of innovation in our farming and regional communities because there's no doubt that ag is our great competitive advantage in Australia.
"The rest of the world wants our fine produce, and there's high demand. We have a great opportunity, and that's to bring brilliant people who have brilliant ideas forward so we can improve production, productivity and profit."
For more information, visit agtechangels.com.au.
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