The Rural Innovation Lab is coming back to the Horowhenua this week with a Farmer Bootcamp at Foxton on Wednesday night looking at new business models.

Chair of the Rural Innovation Lab, farmer Mat Hocken, says the Bootcamp is for farmers that might be interested in looking at diversifying their businesses, or just keen to understand the options.

"One of the themes that came out from our engagement with farmers earlier in the year was the interest in looking at new business models using their current skill set, land and businesses. This Bootcamp is really about getting together and bouncing ideas".

The evening begins with a panel of farmers and growers talking about the ways they have diversified their businesses, followed by a workshop with a start-up business, Gear Hub, which has been supported by the Rural Innovation Lab through its call for Innovation Projects this year.


Gear Hub started after one of the founders, Scott Cameron, had grown up on a farm in Taranaki and saw that farmers had lots of extra machinery lying around that they only used for short periods of time.

The Gear Hub platform provides people with a way to develop an alternate income stream from the machinery that they have sitting idle on the farm.

"We started working with farmers in the Shannon discussion group, and initial interest has been really good. We're keen to further develop the platform with feedback and at the Bootcamp will be getting feedback from farmers on their interests in using a platform."

"I got a call from a farmer today and he said 'what a good thing — it's not every day that a business starts in Shannon,'" Scott said.

Following the workshop questions will be pitched to the panel. Dinner and drinks are provided.

Key Details

Rural Innovation Lab Farmer Bootcamp: Identifying new business models for farming
Wednesday 13 November
5pm — 8.30pm
Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, 92 Main Street, Foxton
Drinks & Dinner Provided
Register at or just turn up