It’s been a long and exhilarating journey for our SheStarts founders. After returning from a whirlwind trip to San Francisco.
We discussed the issue of taking a local idea global in Episode 12, a couple of months back so thought it was time to catch Naomi from FARMpay again. We chatted about the why, how and where she’s at with the startup journey so far …
“FARMpay is a supply chain management platform that enables rapid payment and transfer of data for on-farm grain sales.” – Naomi, FARMpay
HANDS ON EXPERIENCE, TO HANDS ON TECH
Coming from a farming family, we have lived the experience of many grain growers – selling a large amount of grain to a buyer with payment delayed for months. This experience highlighted the lack of transparency over the grain supply chain and the implications of dealing with a hampered cashflow.
Combining in depth understanding of the challenges faced by growers, traders and buyers and my knowledge of the agribusiness sector, I developed FARMpay to solve the supply chain management problem for all parties.
Although I have corporate and agriculture experience, I required assistance to take a conceptual idea through to product development and pilot. The SheStarts program has helped to equip me with the tools necessary to develop a business, along with access to technical experts and mentors.
“Setting up FARMpay for success wouldn’t be possible without this support and guidance.”
Naomi from FARMpay, networking at SheStarts Demo Day
SOLVING REAL PROBLEMS TAKES SACRIFICE
Making the decision to take that first step required a lot of soul searching. Questions such as, should I leave my corporate role? How will my family cope with all of the travel involved? were just a few that I needed to consider.
I was confident that FARMpay was solving a real problem in the agricultural sector and I had clearly defined the purpose which made the decision process a little easier. I have an incredibly supportive network of family and friends, and 8 months later I don’t regret making the decision to go for it!
So much so, it has been extremely satisfying to see FARMpay develop from an idea into a real live platform.
“I love getting out and talking to farmers, traders and buyers – connecting with our customers and showing them how FARMpay can improve their business.”
CONNECTING THE DOTS
FARMpay will pilot the platform over the next few months working with grain traders, buyers and farmers. We are always interested in talking with farmers, traders or buyers who might want to get involved and invite them to connect regularly.
It’s been extremely important for us to validate that we are indeed solving a problem that exists in the market, and talk to lots of customers to validate that idea. Nearly every day I speak to a farmer, trader or buyer – it ensures that I’m staying true to my purpose and also validates the business.
A bonus part of being part of the start-up eco-system and forming friendships with the other SheStarts founders has been an incredible experience. These women constantly inspire me and provide a support network when things are tough.
THE KEY TO KEEPING IT TOGETHER
It is so important to be resilient – professionally, emotionally and physically. At times things won’t go to plan but you need to be able to keep going and maintain your passion.
I ensure that I make time in my schedule to go running – this helps with emotional & physical resilience and is my commitment to keeping myself healthy.
Finally, be prepared to strap yourself in for a crazy, exhilarating ride! It’s worth it in the long run.
Naomi is a fantastic example of what it takes to be a successful startup founder. Full of grit, determination and the willingness to look at a problem from all angles, we can’t wait to see how far she can take FARMpay around the world!
To catch up on all the episodes and watch next week, stay tuned here.
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