Calf SMART is an automated, cloud-based calf rearing system design for the New Zealand environment and poised to deliver positive results for the dairy industry. The largest 15% of New Zealand’s dairy farms rear 35% of the country’s replacement heifers and are the immediate market for Calf SMART.
Entrepreneur Ben Neal launched Calf SMART to provide automated calf rearing systems designed for the New Zealand environment. With prototypes in commercial trials, Calf SMART is near market and the seed money will be used mainly for further product development, sales and marketing. Neal expects product to be ready for autumn calving in February 2015.
Support Provided to Date:
Investment raising (Pre-Seed & Seed), Business Management Acquisition, Board Assignments, Strategy and Business Plan.
Investors: MiG, Sparkbox, GD1
Founder and CEO Ben Neal grew up on a dairy farm in Dannevirke, gained a BEng (Automation) from Massey University and an NZCE Mechanical, and worked in the UK as a field engineer and in business development in the offshore oil and gas sector. Upon returning to New Zealand, he worked in the energy sector, and in 2012 he launched Farmspec, which provides irrigation and environment monitoring services.
Larry and Jane Ellison launched Rural Fuel in 1998. In 2013, the company which delivers fuel to farmers, contractors and transport operators across the lower and central North Island, was sold to BP. Larry is also the founder of Smart Solutions, which invests in agri-tech ventures.