Founder: Brent Paterson
HQ: Hawke’s Bay
What problems do you solve and what products or services do you sell?
MyEnviro connects people to their environment through data, and is about measuring the impact of our actions on our environment and making real, verifiable progress together.
It’s an environmental management tool, designed to be a secure, central and certified source of truth that Kiwi producers, catchments and regulators use to manage their impact on their environment. It measures changes in the environment by digitising farm environment plans and integrating real-time data on the metrics that matter – like water quality, emissions, nutrient flows and more.
It’s a way for Kiwi land guardians to move forward on environmental stewardship.
Who and where are your target customers?
MyEnviro connects producers with consumers via the community. Our platform customers are primarily certified advisors.
How and when did you first come up with the idea for your business?
I had a problem that I drew on the white board at 4am one morning (I’m a bit dyslexic so pictures are good…), it was about connecting people to the land and rewarding them with their own data. As a team we made the diagram make sense from a technical and practical perspective. That was Version 1.0…
We are not very good at accepting status quo and analogue farm plans just don’t make sense. Farmers are missing an opportunity if their farm plan is only about producing a paper compliance document. We wanted to support them to protect their right to farm by proving their position.
Our team has been working on this for three years and are totally committed to making a difference in the name of continuous improvement.
What are three things about your business that you are proud of?
1) Truth: Truth is our fuel. It powers our partnerships and drives positive behaviour change. Our environment is infinitely complex. It’s made up of countless natural systems – water cycles, soil health, nutrient cycles – all crucial for human prosperity, but mostly invisible to us. We believe in simplifying that complexity through data and insight, to better understand the impact of our actions.
If we want the truth about our impact on the environment, we’ll need to think bigger, wider and smarter. We see smart environmental technology as a human lens, helping us simplify and understand the complexity of our environment.
Being a guardian for the land takes head and heart. Hard data will show us the way but love for the land and positive action will get the work done.
2) Partnership: We support our partners to do their jobs. MyEnviro provides clear targets, measured improvements and real-time feedback grounded in hard data. Gut feel and ‘she’ll be right’ doesn’t cut it anymore. Our stakeholders, legislators, partners and customers deserve to see the proof. Fronting up and holding each other to account is how we move forward.
3) Action: Knowing where to focus, which actions to take and measuring impact – that’s our job. We support our partners to act on the insights powered by MyEnviro and consistently measure their progress.
How do you market your business and what advice do you have for others around marketing?
We have engaged a PR company. The best investment we made was the 2-day discovery session with them so that we have our values and product description clear and so that they can assist in the journey.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in building your business so far?
Time. I have a line of sight to the ultimate offering, however there is a process and an architecture that needs to be developed. I’m learning patience, I think.
What is the biggest entrepreneurship lesson you would like to share with other Kiwis thinking of starting their own business?
It was once said that never get into business with your friends, I disagree totally, especially if your share the same values and aspirations. I now love it when there is a meeting that is not in my skill set and I’m asked to stay away.
How has your business adapted to the challenges of COVID-19?
The Environment is immune to COVID-19, we are dealing with a resource that will be around for ever. COVID-19 actually connected many people back to their environment and I believe gave people time to understand the impact we as humans have on it.
What are your plans for the next 12-18 months?
We have developed our strategy and will be working as hard as we can to meet this strategy.
What’s great about Hawke’s Bay?
I see the ‘New Bay’ as an open source platform; the resource is there for you to make the most of. There are plenty of examples in Hawke’s Bay of those that have kicked it out of the park. We dare to dream at MyEnviro.