SproutX is a joint venture between Findex and the National Farmers’ Federation. It’s an innovation hub and startup accelerator designed specifically for the Agtech sector- the first of its kind in Australia.
SproutX focuses on nurturing startups and entrepreneurs to help transform the country’s $100 billion agriculture sector by helping solve a broad range of problems in the industry, using innovative solutions.
Eight startup teams have been selected to join this year’s SproutX program; each receive $40,000 in capital, access to ongoing mentoring from industry experts and office space for six months.
This month we introduce you to AgMesh.
What is your startup and what problem is it solving for the agriculture industry?
AgMesh is a startup focused on IoT (Internet of Things) assisted farm management and productivity solutions across grazing and mixed farms. Our flagship product the Smart Trough is a simple device fitted to animal water troughs, that helps to individually track the feed conversion from pasture fed cattle and sheep using weight, whilst helping to monitor water troughs and in paddock climate data. We’re working to use the smart trough system to solve catastrophic stock loss by using paddock data collected from the smart trough from previously ‘dark paddocks’ and ‘thermal/hydration crisis management’ alerts. We’re also working on other solutions that can work across most industries in which animal productivity is a key driver. AgMesh aims to capture the animal management data that has previously been ‘too hard’ to collect and get that data out of the paddock and into the farmer’s hand!
Tell us more about your enterprise and what inspired this idea?
I’m a mechatronic engineer experienced in sensing devices and I come from a farming background. The inspiration came when we realised that often productivity of certain animals (sheep originally) was being impacted by a single event occurring during the season – namely caused by failure of water systems over a short period or a thermal weather event causing animal distress. We realised that there was no productivity or crisis management tools available to farmers to get key animal data out of previously dark paddocks.
What hurdles have you faced and conquered on your startup journey so far?
Agriculture can be a difficult market to crack because farming businesses are so varied, down to an almost per-enterprise basis. We entered the journey with a product that could cover many areas and have had to scale back some of the functionality to simplify operation.
The AgMesh team has had to adjust to a much more varied market; traditionally our focus has been on only one niche welded manufactured product, which almost sells itself. We realised that if we wanted to survive long term, we would need to focus more broadly on products that have the ability to scale, but focus on niche pain points for farmers.
How can interested clients, farmers, or investors contact you?
Farmers can reach us a few different ways:
1. They can visit our ‘contact us’ page on our website and fill out their details along with their question.
2. Emails can be sent to:
3. And they can follow us on Twitter @agmeshaustralia