Use of cookies

The evokeAG. website uses cookies to enhance your experience and optimise site functionality.

Please refer to our Cookie Policy for more information on which cookies we use and how we collect and use your personal information through cookies

Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Australian rural connectivity company Zetifi heads to New York

Powering fast and reliable long-range connectivity is the end goal for Zetifi, that’s seen the Australian company gain world-wide recognition and successfully launch in the US market.

4 min read

From humble beginnings in the backroom of a local computer store in Wagga Wagga, NSW in 2018, rural connectivity company Zetifi is set to go global with an office in Rochester, New York.

The exciting milestone has been fast-tracked by the US$500,000 prestigious prize Zetifi claimed in the 2020 Grow-NY business competition and through connections from evokeAG. 2019, that’s been the springboard for much of the company’s growth and development over the last two years.

Zetifi CEO and Founder Dan Winson explained, “evokeAG. was the event where I really got to present and test my ideas to a large audience and it introduced me to many of the partner companies that have supported us as we’ve refined our products, including AuctionsPlus and CaseIH.”

“The confidence I took from my evokeAG. experience and the projects that resulted from the event were critical in refining the offering we presented for the Grow-NY business competition – evokeAG. really accelerated our trajectory.”

To add to this exciting growth period, Zetifi has recently been selected as one of the five investment-ready startups to pitch at the invite-only 2022 evokeAG. Investor Dinner, offering fruitful opportunities to connect with domestic and international investors.

RELATED: evokeAG. 2022 Startup Program cohort announced – evokeAG.

Chief Technology Officer, Ben Letchford, relocated from Wagga Wagga to Rochester, New York in early December 2021 to become Zetifi’s first US employee and establish the new office. As he explained, the state of New York didn’t always seem like the ideal place for a company that provides Wi-Fi for farmers.

“When the idea of relocating to New York was suggested, ‘I said yes’ without hesitation but it also conjured visions of bright lights and skyscrapers so it was hard to believe there was a big enough need for our products,” said Ben.

“I’ve since learnt that in the farming areas of Upstate New York, poor mobile phone service is a big issue.”

Agritech solution set to remedy US connectivity challenges

Proximity to these areas around Rochester where connectivity solutions are needed is a key reason why the city has been chosen for the company’s US base, but Ben won’t be getting his boots dirty too soon.

“My role is mainly behind a computer screen overseeing the development of the systems and software we use to deploy fairly sophisticated Wi-Fi networks in areas where most people can’t, unless you have a network engineer handy,” explained Ben.

“Rochester and the surrounding area have a much bigger population than Wagga and we’ve heard great things about the talent pool of software and network engineers, so once I’m settled, we’ll be recruiting new staff to build a US development team.”

Zetifi CEO and Founder Dan Winson is thrilled that they’re finally able to fulfil the company’s plans for a US office and launch after a year of delays due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“This step has been in the works ever since we were fortunate enough to be awarded the prize by the Grow-NY competition committee,” said Dan.

“Our contacts at Grow-NY have been very understanding but the delays have certainly been a source of frustration as Rochester provides such a great platform for US direct sales and trials that we’re keen to get up and running with farmers in the region.”

Ben’s move to New York isn’t the only staff movement that is a source of pride for the business which has grown from 9 to 15 full-time staff over the last 12 months.

“As much as we’re excited about Ben moving to New York, we’re just as pleased to be creating new jobs in Wagga Wagga and giving people a reason to relocate to the region,” said Dan.

“Over the last year, we’ve had five team members relocate from either Sydney or Melbourne to join our team in software, networking and marketing roles.

“They’re absolutely loving the change in lifestyle and we’re incredibly grateful to have their skills in the business.”

Learn more about Zetifi’s global expansion and upcoming 2022 evokeAG. Investor Dinner Pitch here. Tickets for evokeAG. 2022 on Tuesday, 15 March 2022 in Sydney are now available here.

Read more news
Read more news

Read

The farmer tech-stack*

* “tech-stack” a set of technologies used to deliver a digital solution. The ‘farmer tech-stack’ consists of the multiple technologies used to manage a farm – including accounting and financial planning, animal and cropping management, markets and forecasts, sustainability, logistics and transport, and biosecurity – ideally, in one place.

Farm
13 Dec 2021
2 min read

myFARMSMART helps manage the ‘what if’ scenarios of farm business

Founder of agritech forecasting software, myFARMSMART, Lucy Anderton is empowering farmers to take a calculated approach to business and ‘have more fun’. By using integrated science-based algorithms with individual farm data, this predictive tool is helping WA farmers better manage change and increase profitability – and is now seeking investment to scale operations.

Farm
30 Nov 2021
5 min read

Listen

'The time is now for Australian agriculture' Elders MD & CEO Mark Allison shares his optimism for the future of Australian ag

In this episode we caught up with Mark Allison, the CEO of one of Australia’s largest agribusinesses, Elders. Mark spoke at evokeAG. in Melbourne, back in 2020 – a time before Australia and the world were plunged into lockdown due to COVID-19. At the time, Australia had suffered one of its worst droughts on record and bushfires had ravaged large parts of the community.

Future
18 Nov 2021
25 min listen

40 years in the venture capital game with Andy Ziolkowski

With more than 40 years in the venture capital game, Andy Ziolkowski – the Managing Director of US-based food and agriculture-focused venture capital firm, Cultivian Sandbox and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Cultivian Ventures – knows a good investment when he sees one.

Investment
20 Oct 2021
18 min listen

The future of Artificial Intelligence and why Australia should take control

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already creating exponential impact globally, and locally for our food and fibre supply chain, by alleviating workforce and labour shortages – a problem for Australian and global agriculture. 
In this episode we hear from the Queensland AI Hub about the endless opportunities that Artificial Intelligence offers the Australian tech industry and how we can make the most of it. 

Future
7 Oct 2021
35 min listen