Thursday, October 24th, 2019 - _southstart

AgTech experts will gather at _southstart in Adelaide next month to discuss how to transform agriculture, known as the world’s 'least digitised industry’.

Demand for agricultural products is expected to double by 2050 to feed a global population of 9.5 billion. With many looking to agricultural technology (‘AgTech’) for a solution, Australia’s future as a leader in the space will be considered when industry experts from AgriFutures Australia, Goterra, SwarmFarm Robotics and more converge in Adelaide for _southstart [conference].

On Wednesday the 20th of November at the Adelaide Convention Centre, a series of AgTech-focused discussions powered by BDO Australia and The University of Adelaide’s ThincLab Waite will explore how AI, big data, biotech, robotics and other emerging technologies have the potential to drive efficiency and combat climate change. 

Although agriculture is among the least digitised industries in the world, Australia is poised to become a leader in the space: the National Farmers’ Federation has stated its aim to lift production by $40 billion to $100 billion by 2030, and alternative business models and production processes supported by AgTech will be crucial in achieving this.  

Newly announced AgTech speakers at _southstart include Olympia Yarger, Founder and CEO of Goterra and a leader in insect farming; George Peppou, Founder and CEO of cultivated meat company VOW; Serena Lee, Co-founder and CEO at indoor vertical farm start-up Farm Wall, and Andrew Bate, Founder and Managing Director of SwarmFarm Robotics - one of the world’s only companies with robots working on commercial farms.

The research and development that underpins the emerging sector will be discussed by Kay Hull AM, Chair at AgriFutures Australia, and Guy Hudson, Co-founder and CEO at SoilCQuest. Joining them will be experts on AgTech investment, including Director at Artesian Venture Partners, Robert Williams; and Andrew Cosh, Principal and CEO at Kilara Capital.

The conference’s AgTech stream will be facilitated by AgThentic’s Founder and CEO, Sarah Nolet, and Michael Macolino, BDO Australia’s AgTech Lead.

“I'm really looking forward to speaking at southstart, sharing stories of leading producers and entrepreneurs revolutionizing agriculture,” said Sarah Nolet.

“The agrifood tech space is exploding in Australia, with innovators working on everything from driving on-farm efficiencies through analytics and robotics, to business model innovations that unlock regenerative practices to combat climate change.”

Michael Macolino said, “BDO is proud to be partnering with _southstart to facilitate this discussion on the evolution of our Agriculture. AgTech is a key enabler in solving many of the challenges across the Agricultural supply chain, however solving these challenges requires a whole of ecosystem approach, bringing together technologists, investors and food producers.”


AgTech Industry Speakers:


  • Kay Hull AM - Chair, AgriFutures Australia
  • Guy Hudson - Co-founder and CEO, SoilCQuest
  • Olympia Yarger - Founder and CEO, GOTERRA
  • George Peppou - Founder and CEO, VOW
  • Robert Williams - Director, Artesian Venture Partners
  • Serena Lee - Co-founder, Farm Wall
  • Sarah Nolet - Founder and CEO, AgThentic
  • Michael Macolino - Senior Manager - Technology Advisory, BDO Australia


More information and the full speaker lineup can be found here.

AgTech Industry Speaker images can be found here 

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About _southstart:

_southstart is a convergence of the makers, doers and entrepreneurs of Australia and beyond. Across eight days and four nights from 15 – 22 November, the event will explore the emergence of technologies that are set to explode and redefine our future.

Over 70 leading scientists, virtual technologists, winemakers, entrepreneurs, ecosystem champions and other unlikely cohorts will gather to explore the intersection of technology and humanity. There’ll be workshops, keynotes, panels, masterclasses, dinners and parties and more at over ten venues across Adelaide. Attendees can connect with 1000+ entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, creatives, field experts and other curious minds.

_southstart [conference] will take place at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 20 – 21 November. 100% of the profits from booking fees will be donated to indigenous scholarships. Tickets are available here. Full details available at


Media contact:

Belinda Petersen: [email protected] |  0402 358 000
Darcy Trebilico: [email protected] | 0439 823 702

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_southstart is Australia's human-first technology festival, gathering disruptive ideas, unlocking curious minds, and unleashing the sharing of real world experiences from the business and technology frontlines of the future. The 8-day program aims to converge humans, impact & technology. 

Danielle Seymour
P: 0421224188


AgriFutures Australia, Goterra, SwarmFarm Robotics and more will converge in Adelaide for _southstart [conference] next month




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