Each month, Crowe Horwath will profile the startups that have been accepted into the 2017 SproutX Accelerator program.
SproutX is a joint venture between Findex and the National Farmer’s Federation. It’s an innovation hub and startup accelerator designed specifically for the Agtech sector- the first of its kind in Australia.
SproutX focuses on nurturing startups and entrepreneurs to help transform the country’s $60 billion agriculture sector by helping solve a broad range of problems in the industry, using innovative solutions.
11 startup teams have been selected to join this year’s SproutX program; each receive $40,000 in capital, access to ongoing mentoring from industry experts and office space for six months.
The core focus of SproutX is about bringing together the entire agtech ecosystem across Australia into one place. This includes government, corporate, investment, entrepreneurs, industry, and of course the most important stakeholder; the farmer.
This month, we introduce you to Bloomboxco and talk with their founders Melissa and Philomena.
Q. What is your startup and what problem is it solving for the agriculture industry?
Bloombox Co makes it extremely easy for anyone to have great locally sourced flowers in their home or business. We provide a stylish alternative to the traditional florist, which is generally overpriced, unfashionable and reliant on an antiquated supply chain which sees up to half of all flowers thrown out before they’re even sold!
We provide a way to bypass the supply chain, and get fresher, locally grown flowers in the hands of customers. This is achieved by focusing on recurring customers, analysing trends and predictability, in order to tackle waste, add value without the need for a florist, and pass higher prices to growers.
Q. Tell us more about your enterprise and what inspired this idea?
Very early on, our idea was inspired by a Facebook post by an old schoolmate, bemoaning that she couldn’t buy the flowers she wanted at a florist, and that instead she would wait for her husband to buy them for her. We thought that attitude was bizarre in this day and age, and realised that there was a gap in the market for flowers as a lifestyle and interior design product, as the industry was so heavily focused on gifting. At the time we were both looking at subscription based models, and realised there was serious potential to create a low waste model that could benefit both the growers and the consumers.
Q. What hurdles have you faced and conquered on your startup journey so far?
Logistics around a product as perishable as fresh flowers has been a huge challenge and learning curve for us. There are lots of things outside our control that we need to be prepared for – crazy weather and heatwaves for example. Through making lots of mistakes, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.
Q. How can interested clients, farmers, or investors contact you?
The best way to get to know what we’re doing is to get your own delivery! Right now we’re currently delivering all over Sydney and Melbourne. If you’d like to have ultra fresh, beautiful flowers in your home or workspace and support local growers, we’d love to offer $25 OFF your first order using this dedicated link: www.bloomboxco.com/sproutx
Otherwise, do get in touch with us via email at [email protected]