The rapid population growth, deteriorating environment and the extreme climate threat have brought unprecedented challenges to global agriculture and food industry. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported in 2017 that the decrease in natural resources, unequal distribution, and the impact of climate change around the world have threatened human beings from support themselves in the future. There will be still to 600 million people starving by 2030 if the food system keeps working as it is now. We need to remain mobilized for F&A’s transformation and take action right now!
“Bread is the staff of life” , an ancient Chinese proverb, elaborated that food is necessary for people to survive.
In 2018, HAOSHi Foundation set up HAOSHi Accelerator aiming to assist startups enbraced innovation in food and agriculture area. “HAOSHi is the first F&A accelerator in Taiwan. We are here to foster F&A startups in Taiwan with international and innovative thinking so as to cultivate the next F&A unicorn.“ said by Judy Ouyang, CEO of the foundation. HAOSHi will incubate more startups looking for breakthroughs in the F&A value chain, such as agricultural technology, sustainable development, distribution & retailing, and dining experiences of consumers, as well as encourages more youths to pay attention to F&A issues.
How can HAOSHi Accelerator help F&A startups in Taiwan utilize limited resources to explore, design and validate ideas and steadily develop viable, innovative and competitive business model options in the four-month Accelerator Program?
In order to organize the first Accelerator Program, Christine Wang, Senior Manager of Accelerator Program, invited a number of external professionals in incubating startups to work together to plan the HAOSHi Accelerator tutorial curriculum. The whole program includes three stages: “Innovation”, “Elevation” and “Activation”, offering “Business Strategy”, “User Experience”, “F&A Development” and “Entrepreneurship” courses based on the characteristics and needs of F&A startups.
BMI is responsible for the planning and execution of Business Design program, a highlight of the accelerator. It is to assist 12 F&A startups with early-stage products and/or services to explore, design, validate their service and business models, as well as gradually improve business acumen and the abilities of business model design for involving individuals and teams.
Christie Wang, Senior Manager of Accelerator Program
Considering the needs of F&A startups in Taiwan together with the vision and mission of the Accelerator, HAOSHi tailorred the curriculum leveraging BMI’s experience in strategy design, business and service model design. At the same time, BMI was expected to collaborate with external partners in other areas to ensure the consistence and coherence in the overall curriculum design. In addition, BMI’s Business Design program can help teams build solid fundamentals, and give full play to Accelerator’s MIT Venture System.
Business Design Program for F&A Startups.
BMI’s Diane Shen, Creative Director, and Helen Chen, Strategy Designer, customized the Business Design Program based on BMI Accelerator Program and BMI methodology, leading the teams to quickly develop business models with great potential. BMI focuses on assisting F&A startup teams to understand business models, ideate options and design validation plans:
Understand: Clarify the value chain and positioning, sort out the business context, identify the opportunities and threats, and evaluate the current business models.
Ideate: Design and create business model options, develop the business model canvas and set up validation plan, look for more possibilities through business model mechanisms.
Validate: Clarify the riskiest assumptions of business model, design and execute validation plans, and identify the investment readiness level.
Given the different development status of each team, BMI is good at giving appropriate case studies, guidance and experience sharing in the workshop, so that each team can attain immediate assistance and achieve relevant learnings at different stages, such as:
“It helps us understand the current business in a more systematic and logical way with visual tools. Besides, we can use this opportunity to work with team members dedicated to solving the current problems on creating a shared vision, which is very helpful for us to design our business strategy.”— Davie Yeh, Spark Protein, founder.
“BMI brought us strategy weapons and ammunition that can be used in business battlefields.”
— Po-Chun Huang, Founder of Taiwan BlueMagpie Tea
“BMI’s thinking and promotion of business model have expanded our business horizon, demonstrated different development routes and possibilities, and prepared us for business model modification in case of lacking key resources.”— Chih-Hao Wei, founder of MEANSGOOD AGRI-BIOTECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
Diane also mentioned in the interview of HAOSHi Accelerator: “Every team is at different stages of starting up, pursuing different breakthroughs. It is a pleasure to know that our program enables them to make important changes and progress in a short period of time, no matter it is to redefine the value of their own business or to identify a specific opportunity.”
HAOSHi Demo Day and International Forum.
After the four-month program, HAOSHi Accelerator let the first accelerator teams demonstrate their results according to the attributes of products in three themes of agricultural technology, innovative food and sustainable cultivation on the “HAOSHi DemoDay and International Forum”.
Christine said that the goal of the accelerator is to help the F&A startups to improve their core competencies, connect to the international F&A network, mediate global investment opportunities, and assist in fundraising. The accelerator will launch its second program in 2019, which is expected to create more impactful changes in F&A.
Diane Shen, Creative Director of BMI.
“We used to see the problem from single perspective. Now we can address the problem in a more logical and comprehensive way, finding many planning or execution loopholes that could not be found in the past, also going to the core of the problem and face our shortfalls in a short time.”
“Our thoughts become more comprehensive. Team members will start to think about our advantages and the connection between what we are doing and the value chain of F&A?”
“After discussion of business model cases and value chains, our goals have become clearer, helping our team to clarify value proposition and brand value.”
“What impressed me most is that BMI consultants led us to do some exercises of innovative business model, giving us the chance to get rid of the limitations of daily routine and try destructive thinking.”
“We seem to find new possible ways of cooperation in the process of listening to other partners sharing business models.”
“I should have brought all the team. members to join these discussions because it can help us sort out differences and build consensus.”
“After clarifying the thoughts, indeed, we became more anxious for more important issues to be solved.”