How do early-stage AgriTech founders use professional assistance?

Executive summary

This project has looked at how smaller AgriTech start-ups have used professional assistance, with the objective of better understanding of why or why not assistance is obtained and the timing around these decisions.

A combination of a literature review followed by interviews with six founders of smaller AgriTech start-ups and four professional advisors were undertaken to identify topical findings.

There was limited New Zealand specific literature, therefore relevant literature from a broad range of overseas countries has been reviewed.

Interviews were undertaken to obtain qualitative data from founders of smaller AgriTech start-up companies and professional advisors aligned with the AgriTech industry.

A consistent theme observed in the findings from both the literature review and interviews was that better outcomes can be achieved by founders of smaller AgriTech start-up companies who make use of appropriate professional assistance earlier on in their journey.

The main recommendations are:

  • Founders of smaller AgriTech start-up companies should seek professional assistance early in the journey.
  • Founders of smaller AgriTech start-up companies should actively seek out their regional start-up hub for educational events and networking.
  • Professional Advisors should be sufficiently self-aware to understand that they may not have the appropriate skill set for working with smaller AgriTech start-up companies.
  • Professional Advisors should provide Founders with a road-map outlining the stages at which specific advice would best be most useful.
  • Founders and professional advisors should ensure that their relationship is built on mutual trust. There needs to be an inherent level of trust between the founders of smaller AgriTech start-up companies and the professional advisors that they engage with.

    As noted in the limitations to this project, further research could be undertaken with a larger sample pool to ensure robustness of the conclusions.

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