Starting Seedlab Sisters, Bootcamp Update, and Making Mushrooms
Seedlab Sisters started with a fab session last week with 34 people joining our daytime session, and 31 in the evening. Whilst we had a great representation from North-West Tassie, we also had sisters joining from all other parts of Tassie, NSW, Victoria, Qld, the ACT, and even Italy!
Sally McCreath from Cultivate 3 shared her personal story, which was impactful and powerful. Amanda Hinds provided a tool for understanding yourself and your people better, which was well received. We asked participants for a few “A-Ha!” moments – this is what they said:
“The workshop was exactly what it said it would be – a workshop for curious women. I was curious … and then I was inspired”.
“The power of community and positive people coming together and storytelling.”
“That there is hope. That I will be nurtured and supported in a positive environment.”
“The whole session was great. Sally from Shelduck was an inspirational story.”
Seedlab Sisters is a safe place to connect with likeminded people who want to feel supported as they investigate the potential for starting or growing a business, especially an agri-food business. Yes, we are for women, but we are not exclusive. Yes, we are for the North-West, but we won’t let geography hold us back, and yes, we are for agri-business but we are also for other ideas.
Workshop 2 is on the 18th March, and again it’s live, online and at two different times of day to maximise participation. Starting Out for Success – Building a Business from the Ground Up will cover what you need to think about when starting a business, and we’ll hear from sisters who’ve had immense growth. You’ll come away understanding the importance of setting up appropriate names and structures, when and how to protect your ideas. Participation is FREE thanks to support for the program from the Tasmanian Government Department of Communities ‘Supporting Women to Succeed’ Grant Program. The project partners are Seedlab Tasmania, Cradle Coast Authority, Switch Tasmania, and the program is led by Swinburne University’s Centre for Social Impact RegionxLink Office.
Presenters will include Andy Jackman, talking about the Red Cow Organics growth story. Ray Butcher, Seedlab Tasmania team will present on ‘Business Basics, from Exit Plans to Business Structures’. Susie Lohrey, Regional Investment Corporation will talk about ‘Developing Strong Regional Businesses’. You will also learn more about the Seedlab Sisters program, Seedlab Tasmania Bootcamp Opportunities and have a chance to network and meet other like-minded women.
Please register for our next Workshop, at https://seedlabtasmania.eventbrite.com.au/ Or apply for our March Bootcamp Program (see link below).
We are inundated with new Bootcampers in Seedlab – we kicked off Seedlab Australia Bootcamp 2 this week with 40 businesses from all around Australia, including Tassies’s own Laurelyn Scicluna from Our Patch Pet Food.
In Mid-March we will be starting two different Tassie-focused Bootcamps, each for up to 30 businesses. You apply for either of them by 6pm on the 11th March on our website (https://seedlabtasmania.com.au/) and you can nominate which Bootcamp you prefer.
If you are a woman in agri-business, and you are in the North-West of Tassie, we think Seedlab Sisters Cradle Coast Bootcamp is the one for you. However, this program is also for women who may not have yet decided if setting up a business is the right thing to do – maybe you just have an idea. If you identify as being a Seedlab Sister, but you are NOT in the North-West of Tassie, and are NOT distinctly agri-business, we may still be for you, but if seats get limited, preference will be given to women in agri-business, in the North-West.
For all agri-food, food and drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) founders, anywhere in Tassie, especially those who already have a product, a location, or a business, Seedlab Tas Bootcamp is the place for you. Because we are aiming to broaden the focus of Seedlab Tas this year, even if you are not specifically in food and beverage, you can still apply for Bootcamp, although some of you may be more suited to other incubators occurring in the State such as Enterprize.
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Cultivators Cat Davidson and Brad Moriarty at Bruny Island Mushrooms, for the first time. It’s such a short and smooth ferry ride across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, I don’t know why it took me so long to get there, and Bruny Island is so special!
Cat and Brad have very diverse and interesting backgrounds, and have created a fabulous, off-grid hideaway in the South Island, near Lunawanna. Cat and Brad went through Round 2 of the Seedlab Accelerator Program: Cultivate. They emerged with a new logo thanks to “Design Your Future”, and valued connections with other mushroomy Cultivators, Little Isle Mushrooms and Tunnel Hill Mushrooms.
I only realised when seeing it in the flesh, that the development of their property really began at the same time as their Seedlab Journey, and all kudos to them for pulling of that amount of work on two fronts. They have a tiny house on wheels, sheds, two very large vegetable gardens (with delicious zucchinis) protected from the multitudinous pademelons, and two containers for their mushroom production.
Recently they took receipt of two autoclaves for sterilising the growing media they will grow their island mushrooms in. But significantly, these are solar powered autoclaves (500 and 1,000L), as the property is entirely off grid. Currently the containers are sterilised and ready to go for 2022 production, after trial production in 2021.
Cat and Brad realise it will be a juggling act making the most of the sunshine hours for key tasks, but the determination and knowledge these two have will set them in good stead and we are very excited to watch these ‘shrooms bloom.
In her other life, Cat is a tour guide, and as another outcome from Seedlab, she will be establishing a new business creating Tassie agritourism tours, later in 2022. Watch this space. In the meantime, if you are into bush birds, check out the Bruny Island Bird Festival on the 25th-27th March, which Cat is also organising https://www.brunybirdfestival.org.au/