The Local Food Startup Challenge – Applications Closed!

Local Food Startup Challenge - Applications Closed

Amazing buzz over at Bucky Box HQ this week after closing applications for The Local Food Startup Challenge which we launched in February.

 

We had a moment to pause and think about what this experiment has started. We really only began with the plan to offer the challenge in Australasia to see what reception it got over here. Pretty soon after launching, we were getting enquiries from all over the world from people keen to start a local food enterprise – we don’t like to disappoint people, so with a stripped back offering we made it available globally.

 

Since then we’ve been asked to do an online teaching series, worked with StartSomeGood to run a couple of crowdfunding webinars, spoken to a bunch of partners, and the most important thing – enabled a host of people to start their dream, and launch local food enterprises. And there’s more plans in the pipeline!

 

In visual terms, The Local Food Startup Challenge looks a little something like this:

  

↪ Share this Infographic ↩

 

But The Local Food Startup Challenge isn’t over yet!! It’s now time to kick into a higher gear and take all the goodies from the challenge to ramp up your business idea into a reality.

 

Are you one of the Local Food Startup challengers? Have you started delivering produce yet? If not, what’s blocking you?

 

 

Featured on New Startups : Bucky Box helps farmers get fresh food on your plate

Bucky Box Features on New Startups

 

 

Shortly after our public beta release there was a flurry of interest and articles, but we were a little crazy with speaking to people about our software for local food.

 

In that time, the awesome New Startups online magazine covered our story, and we’ve never had the chance to point people their way till now. So, check out New Startups – they ‘collect a wide range of bright new ideas from around the globe with the intents of keeping you up to date on incredible emerging businesses, offering our reviews, and providing a place to meet & engage in discussions.’

 

READ THE BUCKY BOX STORY ON NEW STARTUPS

 

“It’s astonishing how much of our everyday uses are highly dependent on cheap oil. The food systems in our culture are without exception, and evolved over the last 30 years that is also centralized and fragile. More so then ever we face obstacles and challenges never seen before and will only be more overwhelming in the next 30 years without startups standing up and making new technologies to help, in relation to energy prices, population increase and environmental health.” READ MORE HERE

 

Announcing The Local Food Startup Challenge

We’re launching a challenge to get Local Food Distributors started & successful around the world.

The Local Food Startup Challenge

After months of chatting with Distributors around the world who were getting started, we kept hearing that it was hard getting through the startup phase. Not only did new businesses need the IT infrastructure to help them scale up, but they needed the capital to get started, profile to let their local community know they exist, small business support, and any hints & tips from other people’s experiences to give them the jump start they needed.

 

-> Tweet this Story <-

Local Food Startup Challenge Banner Header

 

We decided to launch a Challenge to bring these elements together, to give you the reason to get started or help you get through that difficult first year. Our challenge is open to new local food distributors, and those under one year old.

 

Enter The Local Food Startup Challenge and you will straight away get $1000 of Bucky Box credit and a package of support. Build your business over 3 months and you will be in to win the main prize!  <– Click to Tweet This

 

Take a look at The Local Food Startup Challenge website now for more information, and get started building a sustainable business today!

Local Food Startup Challenge website

Know someone who’s been meaning to start a business for awhile?
Send them the link to the challenge (http://bit.ly/FoodStartupChallenge), or drop us a note (sam@buckybox.com) and we’ll get in touch!

 

Press Release:

$500k Global Fund Announced for Local Food Businesses

See the full Local Food Startup Fund press release here. <- Tweet this Story

 

Apply to become a Challenge Partner now

Thanks to interest from various quarters, we’re opening the door to additional partners who’re looking to support Local Food Distributors in their local area. Simply fill in this form, and we’ll be in touch. <- Tweet about Challenge Partners

 

Food, The City & Innovation

 

Local Food - Conference on Food, The City and Innovation

 

 

Here at Bucky Box, we’re always on the look out to bring you some ripe pickings of interesting events, guides, resources, and ideas.

 

Yesterday we spotted this awesome conference which is happening in Austin TX on 1 & 2 February (that’s only a week away!).  It focuses on “Food, The City and Innovation“, and it’s hosted by The Food Lab.  You can expect all kinds of interesting discussions, ideas and developments to unfold from it, as it’s a cross-sectoral approach to changing the food system – featuring engineers, designers, developers, scientists & architects, among others.

 

 

Conference Poster - Local Food, The City and Innovation - Partner

 

 

Explore some of the big questions facing us in 21st century, with a team of multidisciplinary folks.  For those of us who can’t be there, you can follow along on Twitter at #FCICON on 1 and 2 February – you can also follow us to get some of the choice retweets of interesting conference tips & outcomes:

 

Bucky Box has become a Partner for the conference – along with the awesome Edible Austin and Capital Factory!  We believe entrepreneurs and startups are going to change the food system this century, so we’re proud to be contributing to the soil out of which new food startups can grow!

Tools for Local Food Distribution – designed for the other 90%

What would happen to food distribution if you provided enterprise-quality tools to the 90% of enterprises who can’t normally afford them?

[click to tweet this article]

 

Bucky Box designs for the other 90%

A little over a year ago, we posed ourselves that question. It was an interesting challenge – one of turning the problem that most local food distributors have on its head.

 

By now, most of us are aware that local food distribution has a glass ceiling – it’s about 70-80 deliveries per week where the admin burden really kicks in and stifles growth. [tweet this]

 

There’s just too much complexity to handle with spreadsheets and hacked together systems when you hit this number – you’re bound to start making errors – whether it’s making sure someone’s paid their bill, that one of the boxes should’ve had artichokes instead of carrots, or that Bob & Karen had just moved house. You know – that bit of information you scribbled on a sticky note and pinned to the wall?

 

So, the glass ceiling is really the automation of those labour intensive admin tasks – packing sheets, customer ledgers, delivery reconciliation and matching up payments.  Take away that glass ceiling, and we know that many local food schemes can grow, get more quality & healthy food to people, and be more profitable. We know this from the handful of schemes who have invested heavily in their technology and grown accordingly.

 

Back to the question – how can we change the game? How can we get more local food distribution businesses operating, serving different markets & communities, providing more demand for small farms & artisan producers? How can we shift the needle on the destructive nature of industrialised food systems? How can we bring back the food webs that existed pre-industrial food distribution? Lets call that our vision of the Food Web 2.0.

 

The answer is not simple, but it’s the challenge that we took on. It’s the challenge that we have spent well over a year working on in various forms, and it’s the challenge that we’ve got our first solution to. Bucky Box is about bringing those tools to the masses, to the other 90% – to anyone who wants to start up a food distribution business [tweet], whether it’s 20 people in their local office, 200 people at their local church, or 2000 people in their community. Simple to use. Affordable. Ready to go.

 

[click to tweet]

We’ve got some exciting news in the pipeline to get a little bit of a buzz going around Local Food distribution, as we genuinely believe decentalising food distribution is one of the most exciting challenges & opportunities in c21st. <- [tweet].

 

It’s the forefront of enabling regenerative agriculture, improving the health of ourselves and our communities, and of lifting people around the world out of poverty. <- [tweet]

 

If any of what we’ve said rings true, and you’re thinking about starting a local food enterprise, or doing what you already do – better, then drop by the Bucky Box – Software for Local Food website and sign up for a trial or just tweet us for a chat.

 

We’re looking forward to supporting you to create a better food system.

Announcing : Public Beta – Software for Local Food Distribution

Software for Local Food Distribution - Launches Today!

 

Today, we’re announcing Bucky Box is ready for Public Beta.

 

Sign Up for 3 week FREE trial for Bucky Box : software for local food distribution

 

It’s been a fantastic road to this point; it began by being part of starting up a box scheme, then coding a prototype, joining the Enspiral social innovation family, indulging in hundreds of conversations with local food distributors in NZ and the rest of the world who shared their insights & frustrations with existing systems.  We earned some early recognition & awards, disappeared on a skunkworks, invented a new social enterprise structure for NZ, had our private beta release, worked with amazing early customers, attended sustainable food summits, battle hardened the system, had some small celebrations, achieved a bit more recognition, had a head-down winter, and finally, somewhat aptly, in Spring, we find ourselves here – ready to share our work with the world.

 

We’re delighted to say early trials have been good (that’s not to say there hasn’t been hiccups) and we’re seeing 70-80% time savings with the private beta. With our public beta release, we’re also announcing a fresh new take on the Bucky Box interface – we hope you like it!  We’ve drawn together the threads of what it takes to make Local Food distribution happen into just a couple of screens.

 

 

We announced our pricing a week or so ago too – we hope you agree, this is incredibly affordable even for local food distributors who traditionally don’t make a large mark up on their service.  We also decided we wanted to make the software accessible to enterprises in developing nations, so you’ll notice we can do GDP-adjusted pricing too.

 

It all goes back to our More Than Profit mission at the end of the day – we want to bring about a human food system that supports the collective long term health of all living systems.  You can read more about our ethics & how we have built Bucky Box to embody those values over at Bucky Box | The Mission.

 

Read the Press Release : Bucky Box – Public Beta Launch here.

#SXSWEco is on NOW!

If you haven’t heard about SXSWEco, then you should take a moment and jump over to sxsweco.com – here’s the brief run down about what the event is about:

SXSW Eco is a three-day conference addressing the need for a concerted, cross sector approach to solving the recognized challenges facing the economy, the environment and civil society. In its second year, SXSW Eco will be held October 3rd-5th, 2012 at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

Hosting an international audience of on-the-ground innovators and executive level decision makers from the public and private sectors as well as thought leaders from academia, this event will drive the conversation of sustainability beyond rhetoric and towards solutions. SXSW Eco is for professionals at the forefront of the post-recognition discussion who are dedicated to making progress towards solving these challenges.

Join us in Austin, Texas for discovery, cutting-edge discussion and unique networking opportunities with experienced, passionate and pragmatic professionals.

 

You can check out the whole event which is livestreaming at SXSWEco.com/live

 

One particular highlight on the schedule is Anna Lappé – cofounder of the Small Planet Institute – who will be speaking on the topic “Plenty for the Planet: Sustainable Food and a Well-Fed World” on Thursday, October 4 at 3:30PM – 4:30PM (Austin, Texas).

 

We hope you enjoy the conference – we’re also going to be live tweeting some bits and pieces, so join the conversation!