This week, on behalf of IN10T, I had the opportunity to participate in the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City Ag Innovation Forum. I enjoyed it because it was “real” and it was alongside friends in the trenches building a business in AgTech. Thank you to Robert Petersen and Erica Petersen Venancio for developing and hosting this event. As I reflected on the event, I realized once again how much I appreciate relationships in business. On this panel alone I was surrounded a by an amazing group.
Tim Hammerich From sharing our message on your “future of ag podcast” to the conversations we have about growing small businesses, Thank you!
Jason Tatge I’ve had the pleasure of working and learning from you in two previous startups and will be forever grateful for the many experiences and lessons we shared. Thank you!
Jerrod Westfahl From pressure testing ideas to tools, we appreciate the mentorship and support both you and Casey Niemann have given us. Thank you!
Building a business is hard. I realize more and more Every day having the right team is not critical it is an absolute necessity. Randy Barker and Alice Robinson the best partners one could ask for; having friends and mentors supporting us on this entrepreneurship journey make it possible.
Special thanks to Tim Hammerich for bringing me back on the Future of Agriculture Podcast to look at agricultural technology and entrepreneurship. Our company, IN10T, a digital agricultural company, recently announced FarmerTrials.com. FarmerTrials.com is a platform that connects people who have new ideas and want to test them on farms. Companies get to work with real farmers who have the skill and resources to assess whether these ideas solve real problems that farmers face.
Key lessons in the podcast:
- Problems that existed on the farm before FarmerTrials.com came along
- Requirements farmers had to meet in the past if a company wanted to do farm trials
- Tasks that Farmer Trials manage and facilitate for agribusinesses
- Working in the business versus working on the business
- Why the services offered by Farmer Trials are appealing to companies both big and small
- How Farmer Trials plan to use the Jump Start grant awarded them by Kansas Department of Agriculture
- Who determines the compensation for the projects
In the first 100 days of starting IN10T, I have learned more than at any other point in my 20+ year career. Throughout daily conversations with customers and industry leaders, there are common themes related to building a business. I admire other thought leaders who share their ups and downs along the way, so I plan to follow that example.
We have no idea what our company will look like in the future, so sharing our lessons regarding what’s working and where we need to improve, allows us time to receive feedback and reflect on where we are today. Here are some lessons from the first 100 days.
Starting a business is hard
I have heard this a thousand times but living it is a whole new phenomenon; especially when bootstrapping the businesses. There is a big difference between working at a startup and running a business with direct P/L responsibility. Over the last 20 years, I have worked in and around different startups. The experience was invaluable, and it helped to prepare for this step, but receiving a paycheck and having to create value is not the same.
Our company, IN10T, was recently working on a project around the timing of customer communication. One part of the project was to look at when businesses talk with their customer’s. Below is a sample data set we ran for a specific group in Agriculture. (Sample included 100 Twitter Users with expressed interest in #AgTech)
Suggested timing for highest Customer Engagement
What is IN10T
In10t is a digital agriculture company founded in 2016 focused on solving farmer adoption challenges in agriculture. We create custom digital and data science solutions for our customers both in agriculture and those investing in agriculture.
Why start IN10T?
The market including farmers, investors, agribusinesses, and agronomists all kept sharing the same themes and pain points:
- We don’t need more data products, we need answers to what is working
- We need less systems and more integration between current applications
- Help us understand product and system performance benefits
- We have data, lots of data, what are the business applications for it?
- We have our own hypothesis, help us prove/disprove it
- How do we begin our data analytics strategy? Or more simply put, how do we make data work for the entire ag supply chain.
- Our situation is unique.
I recently had the chance to visit with one of the “Farm Journal Online Peer groups.” The topic discussed was “The Interesting State of Data in Agriculture,” but what I found compelling was the format. To keep advancing #AgTech, I believe we must have more peer groups & masterminds in Agriculture to increase adoption levels.