Fiona Turner, Co-Founder & CEO of agtech start-up Bitwise Agronomy, talks about her vision for agriculture, opportunity, and tech in Tasmania and how the Farmers2Founders Bootcamp is helping her achieve this
Bitwise Agronomy is an innovative agtech company that aims to give time back to farmers and viticulturists. The company's newly-launched GreenView application allows vineyard owners to have a virtual street view of their plots across multiples sites right from the comfort of their home. Fiona Turner, Co-Founder & Director of Bitwise Agronomy, doesn't just see GreenView as tech that will increase the efficiency and productivity of producers in the wine industry. For the company, it's a way to make technology more accessible in Tasmania, provide opportunities for local communities, and give machine learning to everyone.
But as a tech start-up in a rural and agricultural area, getting your footing can be quite challenging and, for the most part, lonely. "Being in a rural setting, you don't have access to a network of other start-ups...it can feel quite lonely and isolating. It's quite hard to find mentors," said Turner in a podcast episode of Agtech - So What? on January 8th.
To help her and Bitwise Agronomy achieve her vision of building an agtech company that brings opportunities and skills to Tasmania, she sought the help of Farmers2Founders.
Farmers2Founders (F2F) is a group of entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts who aim to solve the agri-food industry's most critical problems with innovative technology. As a group, they believe in placing farmers and producers at the centre of innovation, so the tech that gets developed accurately addresses the challenges they are facing.
As both a start-up founder and vineyard owner, Fiona understands the importance of putting the producer's experience at the heart of agtech development, saying, "the key factor is having knowledge of the problem you're solving when you're immersed in their problem and experiencing it first-hand. By being on the ground, living on the vineyard and living through these problems...we did everything manually and understood the pain points. It's given us a really good foundation to be able to solve these problems. If you don't understand the problem, the technology [you develop] is just technology."
Finding that her belief and F2F's advocacy aligned well, she decided to enter Bitwise Agronomy into the F2F Bootcamp. It is an intense, three-month program that trains agtech start-ups to grow their businesses. Through the Bootcamp, participants get access to structured training programs, experienced mentors, and much-needed funding to help them hit the ground running and set off on a successful business venture.
When asked how the Bootcamp is helping grow Bitwise Agronomy, Ms. Turner said, "to have the push and to be challenged, so I make my own timeframes; otherwise, you can get caught up with the other life stuff. To have that community and access to mentors and talk to other people in the industry...makes you want to do better and faster."
With the training and support she receives from the F2F Bootcamp, Turner believes she can go beyond just building an excellent agtech company in Tasmania. More so, she believes that Bitwise Agronomy can become the way for her to bring skills to rural Tasmania, provide opportunities to local communities, and help people here to live a good life.
Want to know more about Bitwise Agronomy? Check out our page for more details on what the agtech solutions we offer.
WHERE THE FUTURE MEETS THE FARM
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