Full Profile’s Managing Director, Bob McKay, traveled to North America earlier this month to explore international use cases for our AgriDigital agri-blockchains (spoiler alert: things are looking good in Canada). Bob visited other leading AgTech startups and attended both the Forbes AgTech Summit in Salinas, CA and The MixingBowl Hub’s FOOD IT in the heart of Silicon Valley. At both events, industry leaders discussed challenges facing the AgTech industry and startups pitched to a packed audience of investors.
Bob is a veteran in agribusiness and knows what it takes to build a successful business in Australia. But Silicon Valley has earned its reputation for a reason: the startups and investors are world class, and they’re constantly raising the bar.
Australia undoubtedly has a buzzing startup community, and the AgTech space in particular is growing with startups like The Yield and AgriWebb raising capital and getting media attention. But there are a few things the Aussie AgTech innovation ecosystem can learn from leading startups in other geographies. Here are some international lessons for Aussie AgTech.
Every Pitch Needs a Few Basics
Each startup is unique. And each pitch needs to be memorable and tailored to the specific audience. Yet there are a couple elements that every startup pitch needs to include:
- Communicate the size of the opportunity- how big is the market, and what kind of impact will you have? At the end of the day, this may be an educated guess. But make sure to base this on real data and be able to answer questions about how you arrived at your numbers.
- Clearly explain your business model- you are a company, not a technology. A company needs customers or users. Tell your audience about your go-to-market strategy or plans for expansion, and make sure it’s compelling.
- Make it clear when you have more than an idea- many people have ideas, so if you have more, be sure to show it off. Having a prototype, minimum viable product, or even real revenues can be a differentiator.
- Be eloquent and articulate- this sounds obvious, but unfortunately it’s all too often overlooked. The content of your presentation is critical, but if everyone falls asleep or gets confused while listening, the content is useless. Practice. Test your message with a similar audience to make sure it resonates. And…
- Have slick materials and collateral- make sure people remember and respect you and your brand. Use clean, attractive slides with large, easy-to-read fonts and catchy pictures. Invest in a memorable logo. Be prepared with a one-pager or short link to point people to your website.
Show off your team
More than any other factor, your team is absolutely critical to your success. The caliber of team is what will convince investors to give you money, potential hires to embrace your vision, and customers to have confidence in your product. Finding the right people is a huge challenge, but it’s only part of the picture: you have to convince others that you have the right personnel on board.
There are at least two key components to highlight. The first is the pedigree of the founders. What have they already achieved that will help them build this business? What do they know about the industry that gives them a unique advantage? What brands or organizations are they associated with that can lend them credibility? Tell your audience about the superstars in your office.
A second critical element to tout is the caliber of your advisory board. Even professional athletes need coaches. Startups are no different. Showing that you have experienced, well connected, and credible advisors can go a long way to instill confidence in investors and customers.
Authentic Aussie Advantage
Aussie AgTech startups need to up the game: our presentations and branding need to embrace the American can-do attitude while still staying true to our Aussie roots. There’s misperception in the market that we are too far away and too small of a market to be worth anyone’s time. This is just not true. Australia is poised to become a global leader in AgTech innovation. Aussie AgTech startups need to start acting, and pitching, like it.