Startup Toowoomba and Darling Fresh have partnered to launch the FOOD & AG Business Bootcamp to help local startups grow or improve its market and manufacturing processes. This program is suited for farmers looking to increase their produce value, and covers a range of industry related topics such as mindset, strategy, commercialisation and validation. Also offered is a series of practical mentoring sessions where farmers will learn how to pitch ideas. These sessions will be run by Darling Fresh founder Jeff Schultheiss.

Jeff has seen many businesses come and go across his 25 years in the consumer goods industry, and after establishing his consulting business Darling Fresh, has set out to help more people succeed in this field. Launching a food business is something people dream about when they’re stuck in their cubicle at work, but often the reality of running a business doesn’t match that initial interest. The FOOD & AG Business Bootcamp aims to assist farmers in their startup and teach practical skills for the future.

Cofounder of Startup Toowoomba David Masefield says there are many people who pursue ideas without first validating their true potential.“It’s like they pull the curtains up, bury their head in the sand or even lower a ‘Cone of Silence’ and just bore ahead with their ideas. The true road to success involves proving that their idea involves a sustainable business idea, one that solves a real problem that customers are prepared to pay for.” This is best done before you invest to much time and money,” he said.

Masefield hopes the bootcamp will give farmers the extra boost to succeed in the long term. “It struck us that the Darling Downs has such a great potential for value added Ag business from the farm gate plus the opportunity to launch new ventures in the CPG and FMCG space but what was missing was the special support required to help great ideas get a good start,” he said.

The bootcamp is being supported by the Advancing Regional Innovation Programs Darling Downs and Maranoa partners Food Leaders Australia.

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