Wagga’s Naomi Stuart has cast her entrepreneurial eye to the world after travelling to the Silicon Valley to develop her startup FARMpay.
FARMpay is a supply chain management tool, providing rapid data and payment for on-farm grain sales.
The concept was born out of Mrs Stuart’s own frustrations with a lack of transparency and delays in transactions with grain suppliers.
A few years ago she wasn’t paid for almost a year’s worth of grains, a struggle she says is all too common.
“This basically improves cash flow and certainty, allowing farmers to make other business decisions and have the chance to succeed” she said.
Mrs Stuart was the only regional finalist in the SheStarts accelerator for women launched last year.
Now eight months into the program, she’s had the “amazing” opportunity to meet big players from Google and Facebook among others, and scope out the agricultural ecosystem in the USA.
“At the moment it’s made for grain but it’s scale-able across other commodities.”
“We’re starting to have discussions about replicating it globally,” she said.
She encourages other women in regional areas with big ideas to take the plunge and get their ideas off the ground.
“Within both tech startups and rural industries women are a really tiny minority,” she said.
“I hope my participation might encourage other women living on the land with incredible ideas to think about really developing them.”
She is positive about her involvement with SheStarts, and encourages people to consider accelerators for support and to build up their networks.
She won “pre-seed” funding through SheStarts, and also suggests anyone in small business stays informed about what government measures are available to “reduce red tape and burden”.
The next stage of development is to pilot the platform on a farm, which she hopes to do locally in August.
Grain traders, buyers and farmers interested in piloting new technology are encouraged to get in touch.