Business Telegraph

The Entrepreneurs

Aussie Blockchain start-up AgUnity

  • Written by Steph Barr


Aussie Blockchain start-up ranks top 10 at global entrepreneur pitch in Beijing. 

Aussie Blockchain start-up AgUnity rank top 10 at this year’s Overseas Talent Entrepreneurial Conference (OTEC), pitching against 32 other start-ups from around the world.

 

Having won the right to represent Australia during Investible’s nation-wide pitch competition, AgUnity took to the OTEC stage last week to pitch their vision to leading VC’s, entrepreneurs and angel investors from China and 28 other countries. Founded by Brisbane based Agripreneur of the year, David Davies, AgUnity’s vision is to improve the lives of small farmers in developing countries through the use of Blockchain technology, assisting 1 billion low income farmers around the world.

 

To further raise the profile of Aussie start-ups in China, AgUnity will now embark upon a three day start-up tour of China thanks to Investible, paving the way for other Aussie start-ups in the China region.

 

Supporting an Aussie presence at OTEC has been a particularly important initiative for Investible, who will be behind AgUnity every step of the way. With the ambition of helping Australian start-ups gain visibility in the Southeast Asian and Chinese markets, Investible expanded its operations to Asia in late 2017. "There's often too much tunnel vision focused on Silicon Valley or Tel Aviv. Investors sometimes forget that these Asian nations are just one flight away from Australia, the USA and the UK, and have economies that are uniquely placed to nurture high-growth start-ups." Says Investible cofounder Creel Price.

 

For Creel, nurturing Australia talent to ensure their pitch game is strong, is critical. Having too often see slide-decks and pitches that are over engineered and just downright confusing, Creel has five basic principles for start-ups to get their pitches right.

  1. Be succinct - If you can’t say what you do in one succinct sentence, that an average person would understand, then chances are the average angel investor won’t understand either. Position where your company plays, state what product or service the company sells, and clearly identify your target market. e.g. We are a software business, that offers a cloud based accounting service to small business owners.
  2. Speak with confidence - Don’t read off your page or even show me a pre-prepared PowerPoint.  Know your business and tell me about what it is and why it is awesome in a conversational tone – if you can’t then your business is not cooked enough to invest in or I don’t get the confidence that you will be able to sell to customers, staff or partners which will make-up the backbone of your business. Sure rehearse but then rehearse it so it doesn’t sound rehearsed. 
  3. Speak Frankly – Angel investors usually hear a lot of pitches so have a keen ear for the uninformed use of buzz words. Don’t say “we are all about curation” if you aren’t a librarian, say that your product “start’s slow but will eventually go viral” or throw in how your vision will “soon be able to use virtual reality”. Use simple language that doesn’t make you look like you are a walking jargon bank or someone whose vision is just a conglomeration of the latest band wagon trends designed to impress. 
  4. Be Authentic – Investors buy the entrepreneur first and the business second. You don’t get past first base if they first can’t buy into you. The best way to achieve this is to be authentic, passionate and of course likeable. You should also nominate why you have an authentic connection to the customer need or problem you are solving – story is a great way to achieve this.
  5. Have An Ask – Angel Investors want to help and they also usually have a minimum and maximum threshold on how much they would invest. Tell them how much you are looking to raise and often including the valuation and / or the type of investor you are seeking. e.g. We are raising $500,000 at a post money valuation of $1.5 m with an expected close by end of December. But mostly we want someone who can help us access retail markets.     

As winners of their annual Investible pitch competition, AgUnity not only received flights and accommodation to compete at OTEC 2018, but will also be presented with networking opportunities with Beijing Investible partners, and free workspace for three months.

 

Investible

Investible is an early-stage investment group that provides high potential founders the financial, human and intellectual capital needed to scale.

 

Founded by former Blueprint Management Group entrepreneurs Creel Price and Trevor Folsom in 2014, Investible’s mission is to de-risk angel investment on a global scale.

 

Already reporting an unrealised compound return of 66.2 per cent per annum based on its investments in start-ups such as Canva, Ipsy and Car Next Door, Investible continues to expand its global footprint, having already entered into the U.S., South East Asian and China. The success to date has been largely attributed to Investible’s team comprehensive methodology led by General Manager (Asia) Annie Luu to source, screen, secure and support the best early stage tech companies.

 

AgUnity

AgUnity is a philanthropic venture that helps small farmers harness the power of Blockchain for the greater good.

 

With a vision to improve the lives of small farmers in developing countries, AgUnity helps farmers retain a greater share of their crop value by putting a simple distributed crypotoledger mobile app into the hands of small farmers. The transparent digital process levels the playing field for framers, replacing existing verbal and paper agreements, and creating a circle of trust for small farm co-operatives to track the 50% of crop value that is estimated by the UN to disappear between harvest and point of sale.

 

Founded by Brisbane based FAC Global Agripreneur of the Year David Davies, AgUnity has already been recognised by major NGO’s and won a range of AgTech awards with product pilots already underway in Africa, Latin America, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

 

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