City of Melbourne Search
Week 7—13
May 2018

MKW18 7—13 May

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Rocket Seeder Presents: Innovation in Food Startups

Food - Panel

Event Details

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What does your business need to start cooking with gas?

Human consumption is exponentially growing and we are quickly losing our ability to keep up with demand. Agricultural practice is changing and innovations are happening everywhere, but the world needs more players on the scene to find solutions. As an abundant country, we’ve got the resources to change it up, but it’s pretty hard to get started. We will explore and discuss how you can get started in the food and Ag space. What are the key steps? Why is it better to solve a problem than sell a solution? Where can food and Ag startups find support and resources to flourish? Come along and find out the tips, tricks and tools of the emerging startup trade. Hear from some of Rocket Seeder’s latest and greatest startup ventures to explore how you can get your idea off the ground.

This event is part of From the Ground Up: An Exploration of Food, Hospitality and Technology in Melbourne – a day of programming dedicated to understanding the role Melbourne plays in the wider conversation around food and innovation. Check out the full visual schedule, or download a text version.

Image: Jasmine Fisher via Matters Journal

Speaker Info

Geert Hendrix

Geert Hendrix is the Founder of Farmwall, a social enterprise on a mission to transform cities into food producing ecosystems, currently designing small-scale vertical farms growing produce indoors. Their innovative service model for hospitality is first of its kind to Australia, and imagines the potential for a range of industries, forms and applications.


Ingrid and Sally Stead

Sisters Ingrid and Sally Stead, with backgrounds in business, marketing, science, and agriculture, are actively developing and testing their legume pasta product range. High in protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates, legumes make an ideal ingredient from which to make delicious vegan friendly, gluten free pasta with half the carbohydrates, double the protein and four times the fibre of regular wheat pasta. Unlike typical gluten free pastas, it doesn’t taste like cardboard.

Jeffrey Bourne

Jeffrey Bourne is the Founder and Managing Director of Rocket Seeder. Jeffrey is an innovation consultant, advising on and leading product and service innovation, specialising in new venture creation and entrepreneurial ecosystems. Rocket Seeder accelerates the pace of food and agriculture innovation. They help entrepreneurs right across the food and fibre value chain. They build communities around entrepreneurs and provide the growing conditions so they can startup fast and grow rapidly.

Sallie Jones and Steve Ronalds

When the milk crisis happened and the people of Gippsland started to ask what milk they could buy that was 100% Gippsland farmer owned, Sallie Jones and Steve Ronalds had an idea. At a crossroads, but keen to honour their dairy farming backgrounds, Sallie and Steve worked on the twin challenges of how to dairy farm sustainably, as well as support those dairy farmers who were struggling. They established their own farmer-owned milk brand to help dairy producers get fair milk prices.

Toni Barton

After a 17-year career in corporate marketing, Toni Barton decided to return to her roots and become a sheep farmer, but she didn’t leave her marketing and finance experience behind. She set her own sale price at farmers’ markets, hosted lamb cooking masterclasses on her farm, and set about developing new products. Constantly looking for ways to value-add to her lamb, Toni wondered why every part of the lamb is considered valuable, except the lamb belly which is considered a by-product. Toni had the idea to send it off to be cured and smoked like pork belly. When it came back from the smokehouse, it tasted delicious.

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