The quest to nurture Central Queensland’s fledgling agtech industry is about to venture into new territory. The Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) has selected 10 early-stage founders for this month’s Agtech Innovation Mission to the Sunshine Coast, part of CHDC’s AgFrontier: Regional Agtech Catalyst program.
The mission, which runs from 23 to 26 May, is designed to equip start-ups and entrepreneurs from the Central Highlands, Isaac and Woorabinda local government areas with tools, connections and confidence to get their ideas off the ground.
Participant concepts include technology in autonomous farming, aquaculture systems, market gardening, and the recording of Indigenous bush medicine history.
“We’ve unearthed a bunch of very talented locals with a range of brilliant ideas and this mission is going to expose them to information, support and networks that they cannot necessarily find at home,” CHDC Agtech Community Officer Cassie Turner says.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for the participants to immerse themselves in the Sunshine Coast’s thriving entrepreneurial community, as well as use it as an inspirational backdrop to reflect upon and consolidate their plans.”
The mission will feature visits to a tech hub, meetings with investment mentors, a masterclass with innovation experts, and networking opportunities.
AgFrontier is hosting the mission in partnership with start-up innovation specialists Startup Catalyst, with support from program partner, Local Buying Foundation, as well as Advance Queensland’s Deadly Innovation and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Nationally recognised entrepreneurship educator, Bond University’s Dr Baden U’Ren, will be the mission leader.
Jody Haylock, Crave Food + Juice Bar, Central Highlands – Technology to cut coffee wait times at cafés.
Tom Wyatt, Span Engineering, Central Highlands – Customised automation and connectivity solutions for agribusiness.
Matthew Barnes, Australian Soil Planners, Central Highlands – Traceability of sustainable agricultural production, leading to true carbon-neutral agricultural produce.
Ian Rankine, 4t Consulting, Central Highlands – Using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to turn 25 years of ecosystem data into valuable knowledge to assist long-term environmental planning.
Paul Stapleton, Precision Livestock Farming Australia, Central Highlands – Autonomous farming platform to integrate and synchronise all farming tasks from one or many device, locations and equipment brands.
Salih Zanatta, Zanatta’s Rural Investments, Isaac – Applying AI and technology to determine the relationship between waterflow, water quality and livestock weight gain.
Cameron Pagden, Caflos Agri Visions, Central Highlands – Autonomous farming platform to integrate and synchronise all farming tasks from one or many devices, locations and equipment brands.
Douglas Graham and Michelle Leisha, Woorabinda – Using technology to create an aquaculture system and market garden to provide an ongoing supply of fresh fruit, vegetables, bush medicine and fish to the Woorabinda community.
Steve Kemp of Yarbun Creations, Woorabinda – Using technology to record and share the history and knowledge of authentic Indigenous tools including bush medicine.