2019 was a HUGE year for Aggie Global from winning awards to getting pre-seed funding and launching our MVP, we hit some pretty big milestones that we wanted to share with you all.
We jumped into 2019 off the back of focusing on farmer education to improve crop productivity and subsequently increasing farmer income. And we made some amazing impact with that (just check out the blog on Joeli for example).
From this work Lisa and Zoe were awarded as Finalists for both Seven News’ Young Achievers Science and Technology Award and the Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work (Pacific Region).
About halfway through the year, we launched a prototype of an AI supported record keeping application for farmers. We then assessed its uptake and need by the community, and found it wasn’t inline with what was needed by the community so we had to scratch it (this was definitely a hard pill to swallow).This is where we had a major pivot and started focusing on promoting local food to the tourism sector.
We visited Vanua Levu for the first time and realised just how extensive the issue of poor market access is in Fiji and rural communities. Although it was for research, it definitely felt more like a holiday, as it included attending our first Fijian wedding!
From the pivot, Blue Chilli got involved. We got into BlueChilli’s SheStarts program in June and have been hustling hard since to understand our customers.
Through this program, we attended two weeks of festivals back to back, these being the Fine Food Festival in Sydney followed by Fiji’s first Hospitality and Tourism festival. We connected with a range of amazing people at both these events, but the best part was getting our first 3 customers onboard. We continue these amazing relationships, with these customers making weekly orders of locally grown (and beautiful) edible flowers. And we can’t forget the amazing farmers we work with to fill these orders, and make the whole process happen.
We also participated in half a dozen startup events whilst in Australia. We won both the audience and judges awards at Start Up Vic. We were a finalist at Australia’s Pitch@Palace, where we pitched in Sydney and in Perth. We also partook in the ‘What We Can Do Podcast’ earlier in the year talking about how and why we started Aggie Global.
At the end of BlueChilli’s SheStart’s program (November) we had finalised our new direction with an action plan for 2020. Our new website and ecommerce platform was launched in December and we are really proud of it and all the work that went into it, even if it is ‘just’ an MVP.
It’s been a massive year with lots of hardwork, hustle and reward. We are excited to keep growing our community of Aggies into the new year and we hope to stay connected with all of you as we continue to move forward.
Lisa and Zoe, the Aggie Twins.