Sprout Update

12011203_887502841297199_8294777873619118433_nOn the 11th &th 12 of December, the Sprout cohort arrived in Ashburton for the second of four block courses, which are being delivered across different regions within New Zealand. The theme for this block course was ‘Technical Approach and Product Roadmap.’

The first guest speaker of the weekend was Ben Wilde from Georgian Partners. He spoke to the cohort about ‘Venture capital and quality product strategy.’ Ben is a principal of Georgian Partners and has extensive experience in product strategy, working for both Informix and IBM in California for eight years. His day to day role involves advising companies on product strategy, value proposition assessment and go-to-market strategy.

Rob Heebink and Mark Harris from Gallagher Group joined the group via conference call and spoke about ‘Building products for farmers – the key considerations for your product development.’ The key takeaway from this session being: ‘when you’re pricing your product ensure you have enough margin to compensate and motivate all stages in the channel to market.’

On Friday night the Sprout team hosted a networking function for local Cantabrian’s interested in agritech, inviting them to meet the entrepreneurs and get an update on the Sprout programme. Grow Mid Canterbury and KPMG played a large role in helping us to arrange this evening remotely. Our thanks to both organisations for their help.

Saturday focused on product development with presentations by David Moodie of Makegood Design and Andrew Toekly, VP Engineer at 8i. The day was finished off with a fast paced session by Dion Cawood from LIC around ‘Design Thinking.’ He asked teams to explore their peers ‘emotions’ which were associated with the action of gift giving, by asking 3-6 minutes of questions about the process. Each individual then created a prototype of a product which would make the gift giving process easier and met the emotional need of their peer.

The Sprout team now turns their attention to the January block course, being held in Hamilton. The teams will focus on Go-to-market and IP. LIC, Gallagher, WINTEC and SODA Inc will host the cohort while in Hamilton.

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