SWAN wins the chance to pitch at FoodBytes

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// Perth-based water management startup SWAN has made it through to the final 15 at Rabobank’s global food and agri startup program, FoodBytes!…

Set up in 2015, FoodBytes! is a New York-based global food and ag ‘startup discovery program’ that aims to “help entrepreneurs scale their impact through mentorship and connections to corporate leaders and investors.”

East Perth water management startup SWAN has made it through a crowded field, to be one of 3 global startups to pitch in the ‘Regenerative Farming to Reduce Water Use’ category.

One of five Australian startups selected from a field of 340 international applicants, SWAN is the sole WA representative in the line-up, and is now into the final 15 globally.

The program assists and supports companies through structured mentor sessions, corporate introductions and investor meetings.

US Market

SWAN is looking to scale into the US, so this will be a valuable opportunity to glean insights about the international ag market and meet potential new partners outside of Australia.

All selected startups will participate in two weeks of virtual mentorship programming and one-on-one meetings with corporate leaders and investors, in addition to pitching their solutions to Rabobank and 17 FoodBytes! Pitch corporate and investor members.

Finalists have now been chosen to participate in FoodBytes!’ live-streamed pitch competition December 2 for a chance to win $10K and consultative prizes in each of three categories: CPG, food tech and agtech.

“These companies are pioneering the future of food and agri and will showcase their ideas and Australia on the global stage,” said Rabobank Australia head of innovation, knowledge and networks, Nathalie Gibson.

“They demonstrate ground-breaking new approaches in agtech, foodtech and consumer food and beverages, in areas including animal health, regenerative agriculture, on-farm robotics, advanced nutrition, sustainable packaging and plant-based foods.”

Winner, chicken dinner

SWAN’s precision irrigation and fertiliser platform helps farmers and other large-scale water managers to precisely schedule, monitor and report on water and nutrient consumption.

In fact, that’s what gives ‘SWAN’ its name: ‘Scheduling Water and Nutrients’. (Some of you thought it was do with the Swan River, right? Also.)

Established in 2016, the company already has a bulging trophy cabinet, having won an Accelerating Commercialisation grant in 2018, and Startup of the Year Award at the Incite Awards the same year.

They’ve also been a finalist in both the Bridge Hub 2020 Water Challenge and the WA Innovating for Sustainable Water and Environmental Outcomes Award, with the winners to be announced over the coming months.

“We are humbled to be named amongst some fantastic organisations doing important work in the water and agriculture space,” said SWAN Systems CEO, Tim Hyde.

“We’re particularly pleased with the wider industry focus on water and food sustainability. Agriculture accounts for 70% of global water withdrawals globally, so it’s critical that irrigators in the sector have a simple, science-backed, and scalable solution to reduce water wastage and minimise harmful environmental outcomes.”

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Main Photo: Rod Campbell, Tim Hyde & Ivor Gaylard, co-founders of SWAN Systems. (Supplied.)