Matthew Pryor joins us today as not only a partner in AgThentic, an Australian based food, and ag sustainability and innovation consulting firm, but also as a co-founder of Tenacious Ventures, a food and ag venture capital firm that just closed their first fund of nearly $30 million. As though that wasn’t enough, Matthew has already successfully exited two different startups. To say he has his finger on the pulse of ag innovation, sustainability and company start-ups is putting it mildly. In this episode, we discuss Matthew’s rise to success from an entrepreneurial point of view beginning with his first company, Observant. Observant is a company that was born from an issue of water management for cattle in remote areas of Australia. Matthew was solving this water management problem with “bespoke micro-electronics” that they were building themselves.
“We were pretty mindful about looking at other industries. And the filter that we wanted everything to pass was why should this be different in ag?” - Matthew Pryor
Observant focused on finding different ag applications for technology originating outside of ag They also strived to create a simple “solid, reliable, agricultural product” to ease any consumer-adoption challenges. Matthew shares that especially in the agricultural hardware space the “product better work and if it doesn’t, your reputation will suffer.”
“Customer success is about fundamentally understanding human psychology and what makes people feel like you know what they need and that you’re going to get it to them as soon as possible.” - Matthew Pryor
Observant supplied all of “the information and diagrams” and provided a great deal of support to their customers if needed. He compares their strategy to an Apple store. If an Apple product needs repairs you will gladly return to the Apple store to visit with their technicians because of their perceived customer service. By doing this, they provided a “sense of being supported (and) a sense of being understood” which the customers appreciated. Following the success of Observant, Matthew spent his time growing the agtech space in Australia and eventually moved on to AgThentic. AgThentic assists startups by giving them access to experience, advising them on how to raise money, and “helping them work out how to tell a story better.” This exposure to startups led him to create Tenacious Ventures to help match startups with capital. With years of experience under his belt, he is not only supporting startups but also organizing funds for them. So what basic advice does he give would-be entrepreneurs?
“There is nothing harder than being an entrepreneur. You’re strapping in for a long period of hard slog and you better know why you’re doing it.” - Matthew Pryor
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