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New Zealand innovators praised at national Fieldays

New Zealand innovators praised at national Fieldays

Budding New Zealand innovators have been praised by national investors and business leaders for their brilliant solutions to real problems faced by the agricultural industry at the 2014 National Fieldays in Hamilton.

Nine innovators from across the country pitched their innovations in front of over 100 investors and business leaders at yesterday’s Fieldays Innovation Den Powered by SODA Inc.

DTexH2o took out the SODA Inc. Most Viable Business prize worth $15,000. Their innovative dairy milking alarm system detects wash-up water in the milk line before it enters the vat, ensuring no loss of milk quality and reducing wastage.

“As an outsider from the Waikato we never thought we would have a chance of winning, so this is absolutely wonderful. It shows the Innovation Den is a national initiative for agri-innovation,” said Graeme Franklin of DTexH20.

“We were blown away by what we learnt through SODA’s intensive workshop programme, in the lead up to this event,” said Alison Franklin of DTexH20.

LiquidStrip won the Gallagher Brilliant Simplicity award, taking away $3,000 cash for their continuous filtration system designed to efficiently separate liquids and solids from dairy waste effluent.

Gallagher research and development director, Rob Heebink, was impressed Liquidstrip’s solution, labelling it a “brilliant piece of engineering that solves a major environmental issue in the dairy industry, with cross over into other sectors.”

LiquidStrip founder Greg Morgan said the award was a wonderful achievement for LiquidStrip.

“It is no easy task to start up a business and be a part of the wider solution via innovation. The team at both SODA and Fieldays are key to how far individual entrepreneurs can take their product or service in this competitive industry – it is amazing to be a part of,” he said.

Ice Cycle won the $1,000 Angel Association Best Pitch award for a pitch that explained the market opportunity for their snap milk chiller capable of cooling milk from the cow to the vat in three seconds.

The presentations were supported by acknowledgement from investors and business leaders of the international investment interest in New Zealand’s agricultural innovation sector.

“International investors recognise that New Zealand is a world leader in the agriculture industry. This often makes it easier for international companies to enter offshore markets and the end result is the growth of New Zealand’s overall economy,” said executive director of membership-based investment network Enterprise Angels, Bill Murphy.

“Fieldays and the Fieldays Innovation Den facilitates the continuation of the all-important agri-innovation,” he said.

NZ National Fieldays CEO John Calder said innovation runs to the central core of what Fieldays is all about and what makes New Zealand a successful agricultural nation.

“The Innovation Den runs is something we’re incredibly proud of. Our thanks to Soda Inc. and all our sponsors for making it into an even bigger success in its second year. Congratulations to all entrants and winners.”

All nine innovators spent the week prior to Fieldays being intensively coached and mentored by Team SODA to become pitch-ready.

Business Growth Advisor for SODA Inc., Vanessa Clark, said the organisation is very pleased with how far the innovators have come in such a short period of time.

“We will continue to work closely with all of them to assist and progress their innovations into the market place,” she said.

Creating pathways for agri-innovation is key to New Zealand’s future prosperity. SODA’s collaboration with Fieldays Innovations gives innovators a pathway to take their inventions from the garage, lab or paddock to the world stage.


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