$230 billion.

That’s the annual value of the agribusiness industry in Australia. Did you know that it’s actually bigger than the mining industry? So wouldn’t it surprise you then that we don’t hear much about startups applying new technologies in this sector? Is it because entrepreneurs don’t want to get their hands dirty (pun intended) or could it be because the connection between digital and dirt hasn’t been brought to light?

This year’s Westpac Innovation Challenge is an agritech startup competition with a $40,000 cash prize. The competition is looking to find and fund digital innovations that will give any area of Australian agribusiness a competitive and sustainable edge.

The opportunity for disruption is massive considering that the agribusiness sector includes businesses that are directly engaged in, or directly benefit from, agricultural activities. And the problems faced by Australian agribusiness are broad and big. Severe weather, export market fluctuations, new marketing techniques and the sheer size of this country making distribution and logistics challenging are just some of the daily obstacles members of the entire agribusiness supply chain must navigate. Most areas rely on manual or labour-intensive processes; they engage in time-consuming and chronological offline communication, and many suffer from inaccurate or untimely information.

So how would agribusiness in Australia look if it were reinvented today? Can we reimagine innovations that were previously only applied to mining (like mapping, supply chain management and logistics for example) and repurpose them for agriculture? Or can we tap anew into the specific agricultural opportunities like precision diagnostics or yield prediction algorithms to create new value?

Don’t think that you can do it alone? Along with the $40,000 cash prize available in the Westpac Innovation Challenge, you will also receive a placement in BlueChilli’s proven startup Accelerator Program to help grow and scale your idea, so you don’t need previous business or digital experience to apply. All you need is an idea and 15 minutes to apply.

All the details are on the competition site at http://www.bluechilli.com/corporate-innovation/disrupt-agribiz

Submit your idea today for how Australia can go from mining boom to dining boom!

Wheat field