Melbourne, 27 July 2017

Transforming food innovation to become the gourmet aisle

For Australia to dominate the gourmet aisle in Asia’s supermarkets, we need to fast-track our approach to innovation in food production, processing, packaging and distribution, says the co-founder of Rocket Seeder, a company offering a food and ag accelerator program to Victorian-based start-ups.

Jeff Bourne, who is also Rocket Seeder’s Managing Director, says Australia has a well-established and valuable research and development system that is well suited to breakthrough innovation, and big business excels at incremental innovation and execution.

“However, innovation happens on a broad spectrum and alternative models are needed to support small, agile teams focusing on the significant opportunities in-between.”

The Rocket Seeder program involves high-performance coaching, designed to help start-ups achieve in three months what can often take years to achieve.

“We help start-ups develop their value proposition, business model, and minimum viable product. We work with them on strategies to identify and develop customers, and prepare them to seek funding from corporate and private investors.

“Applications to the Rocket Seeder program are now open. For our first program, we’re taking applications from individuals and teams who have identified an interesting customer problem, need or want and have an innovative idea how to solve it.”

“We are particularly interested in consumer-focused solutions, food science and food technology, and industrial agriculture technology solutions,” said Mr Bourne.

The program will be run from Rocket Seeder’s new Melbourne headquarters at the Monash Food Incubator, Monash University, Clayton campus. The facility and partners will be unveiled on the 10th of August at the “Co-creating the Future of Foods” symposium, ahead of the official launch later in the month.

“The symposium will bring industry participants and innovators together to hear about some of the latest trends and developments in food technologies and products. It’s a great opportunity for anyone thinking about developing a new food related product or service to attend, meet the people who can help them, and tour the facilities.”

Mr Bourne said Rocket Seeder is thrilled to be partnering with Monash University providing program participants the opportunity to be part of the Monash Food Incubator.

“Consumer-focused food start-ups can work on their product formulations in the commercial kitchen in the morning, and then work on their business in the co-working space and collaboration lounge in the afternoon.”

Mr Bourne said one of the key advantages of Rocket Seeder’s growing list of partners is that start-ups will have access to a range of facilities and expertise that they would normally find difficult or expensive to access.

“Monash is currently ranked the best university in Australia for engineering, technology and chemistry. The best technical advice and equipment in the country is only a short walk away.”

As well as supporting Melbournians, Rocket Seeder is also supporting regional Victorians, particularly from Geelong, Bendigo, Shepparton, Warragul and Sale in this first program.

Rocket Seeder is supported by LaunchVic, the Victorian government’s startup agency.

“With advanced agriculture, food processing and supply chain sectors, Victoria is in a strong position to lead Australia’s future growth in food technology. By the time applications close on 28 August 2017, we hope to have around a dozen great start-ups from around Victoria to support, develop and launch. And this is just the beginning.”

Applications are now open to participate in Rocket Seeder’s program online at