Has the New Year got you re-evaluating your career?
With the ‘great resignation’ sweeping around the world - you’re not alone. Each New Year, thousands of people begin searching for new career opportunities, hoping to inch closer to their dream job, get a pay rise or, more importantly, find a job that gives them purpose. Add to that the rising spirit of entrepreneurship in New Zealand, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for opportunity, particularly in the AgTech and FoodTech ecosystem.
We are at a historic moment in time.
Consumer demand for sustainable production of everything from food to clothing is increasing daily, so the need for innovative technologies to solve pressing problems sustainably has never been greater.
At Sprout we have worked with some incredible AgTech and FoodTech start-up companies over the years, including Hectre, Micropod, Arepa, Scentian Bio and most recently ProTag. We bring our experience of building great start-ups and capital to help get AgTech and FoodTech start-ups thriving.
In my career, I always wanted to be part of innovation.
To be part of a business that is exciting and forging its own path, rather than a paint by numbers business (which big companies can sometimes be). I wanted to be part of something that aligned with my values, but equally where I could receive a life-changing payout from my hard work, if “the stars aligned”.
I knew I had important skills to bring to the table, but what I lacked was the ‘big idea’.
In 2011 I worked as a start-up manager for a Palmerston North based Innovation business called BCC. Dean Tilyard, who was the CEO at the time and led the investment side of the business, taught me that the key to start-up success (more than a great business idea) was getting the right people and the right investors aligned, as well as focusing on customers.
In 2012 I took on the CEO role of BioLumic, the first NZ-based AgTech company to raise a Series A from international VC’s. Over my seven-year tenure, I helped raise over $12 million for BioLumic, and there my passion was realised. Now, as Investment Manager for Sprout, I get to capitalise on this experience and help other founders.
One of the biggest keys to the success of start-ups is people – or more accurately, smart, risk-taking, committed, team people. At the same time there are a lot of people in the technology space with big ideas, but without the commercial nous and entrepreneurial attitude needed to propel a business forward, so often those ideas get nowhere near their potential.
A great example of the power of connecting technical ability with commercial acumen is the powerhouse that is Apple with Steve Jobs (the commercial guy) and Steve Wozniak (the tech guy) teaming together to create a company that changed the way that we live.
Sprout is proudly working alongside technical founders that need the right people to jump on board to give momentum to their idea. To be the Steve Jobs to someone’s Steve Wozniak, if you will.
We have a continual flow of start-ups that have high growth potential and are doing good for the planet. They, more often than not, need good commercially minded co-founders or early employees - a rare opportunity and not one to miss.
Could you be one of our next commercially minded co-founders?
We’re actively looking for entrepreneurs to plug into promising AgTech and FoodTech start-ups. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset and are looking for a role in a start-up that will enable you to “be your best you”, and potentially change your financial future, then please get in touch.
Want more information on how to get involved with a start-up? Register your interest to join a start-up or become a Co-Founder.
About Warren Bebb: Investment Manager Sprout Agritech.
Warren has been in leadership or advisory roles with start-ups for 15 years. From 2012 to 2019 Warren was CEO of BioLumic, the first NZ-based AgTech company to raise a Series A from international VCs. While CEO of BioLumic he raised over $12m of capital for the company. Warren started his career with Fletcher Challenge in NZ, Chile and Argentina.