Ipswich company Grow Logic has been chosen as the fourth recipient of the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Adopt-a-Chief program.
Grow Logic is an agtech startup that focuses on solutions dealing with labour and harvest management. It is aiming to improve the efficiency of labour during harvest and has done this through the development of a world-first picking bag that measures weight of harvest in real time, reduces picking fatigue and fruit damage.
“The design of a fruit picking bag hasn’t changed in 100 years and what we’ve done is changed the design to transfer the weight from the shoulders to the waist - helping to solve OH&S issues - and in the process we’ve made a few improvements to revolutionise the way we pick fruit,” co-founder Peter Bail says.
“What we have developed we are calling the human internet of things, this involves using smart nodes built into our fruit picking bags to collect valuable data.
“These smart nodes mean we can better manage the piece-rate payment system for fair payment to pickers and provide valuable insights back to the grower, because we’re collecting a wealth of information.”
The smart nodes create a network where all of the bags talk to each other, grab that information and send it to the cloud.
“Our systems not only provide data from the paddock back to the office but it is also very important to get the data from the office back into the paddock where it can be most useful,” Peter says.
“We also help with food traceability, as we are digitising a lot of data that we collect on the field, that data can be used for traceability and food safety. We know exactly what happens between the tree and the pack house.”
Peter applied for the Adopt-a-Chief program to gain someone to lean on and use as a sounding board.
“We are going through a couple of challenging times at the moment, we’ve been unsuccessful raising funds and it will be great to talk to Leanne Kemp, as someone who has been down that road before,” Peter says.
“We want to learn from Leanne and work out how to improve ourselves based on her advice.
“We also want to use this opportunity to increase our networks and form further relationships.”
Grow Logic has particularly struggled with gaining funding - it is currently bootstrapped - and hopes to focus on this throughout the experience.
“Myself and my co-founder Paul Smith are at the stage where we need to pull from a team of advisors,” Peter says.
“We are dealing with a lot of other subjects that are outside of my level of expertise and we really want to set up to take that next step.
“We have been talking with US investors for 18 months now and the terminology and lingo goes over my head. I need to talk to people, such as Leanne, so that we are better situated when an investment opportunity does come along and we will be in a better position to answer the questions that come with that and how to deal with them accordingly.
The biggest highlight for Grow Logic has been the great feedback they have received.
“We have talked to growers, other vendors and investors about our solution and the feedback has been really encouraging,” Peter says.
“It has really inspired me that we are still on the right path moving forward.”