One of the most positive experiences I had in 2020 alongside my business partner, Tim Wearne, was connecting with Food Futures Company and being invited to participate as mentors in their Native Ag+Food Ideas 2 Business Program.
Who are Food Futures?
Food Futures Company is an Australian based ag+food innovation ecosystem design firm. They work globally with researchers, corporates, ag+food entrepreneurs, start-ups, agile SMEs and investors to accelerate the development of innovative and disruptive agrifood technologies, grow unique products and services, build new generation value chains, and assist transformational business models to become established.
Co-Founder and CEO Dr Christine Pitt heads up an exceptional team who are in the process of building a global network of partners and mentors who share their passion for making a difference.
This team works together to provide services such as 'Start-Up and Scale-Up Incubation', 'Accelerator Programs', 'Mentoring and coaching for entrepreneurs' and 'Designing Innovative Ecosystems'.
Enter Keeping Company
Tim and I came to know the Food Futures Executive Director, Peter Crane, via LinkedIn. 'After catching up over the phone, we were excited to see how we could become part of their Farmers 2 Founders programme as we are both passionate about small business and entrepreneurship.'
Unfortunately due to COVID we were unable to meet our cohort face to face, but over a period of 12 weeks we engaged via Zoom with 12 passionate native ag+food start-ups to test ideas and build their confidence and capability to launch new products and business ventures.
What is Farmers to Founders?
The F2F programs aim to draw on the 'hard-won expertise, insights, context and networks' the producers have forged. Unlock this knowledge and potential to enable producers to catalyse high-value agrifood innovations.
Farmers to Founders is a new opportunity that is targeted at finding a way for farmers, growers and producers to get their ideas into the workplace—giving the producers the mindset and tools to find solutions to their pain points with the industry.
Starting with the Ideas Program, producers are invited to share their business ideas and determine what it takes to make them happen. How to get started with a new, what does it take and is it worth pursuing? This program helps them get started and take it to the next level.
With many affiliates, including 'Meat & Livestock Australia' and 'Wine Australia', they are well on their way to providing the connections needed to see this industry thrive.
A message from Ryan
It was extremely satisfying to witness the dedication and enthusiasm of the whole group, and a big shout out to Food Futures Company for connecting these remarkable individuals with a diverse group of mentors to assist them along their journey. I am extremely humbled to have been part of such a supportive, collaborative experience and the ability to share my learnings from starting and building businesses.
I am also very excited to continue to support Hayden Marks and his business Melbourne Bushfood as a client of Keeping Company.
Thank you again to Food Futures Company for this unique opportunity.
By Ryan Miller, CEO, Keeping Company
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