Connecting People to the World’s Food System
Meet Chris Rawley, an entrepreneur making agriculture investing easier. In this episode of the Driven & Co. podcast, host (and farm owner!) Justin Gray welcomes Chris to talk about his role as CEO of Harvest Returns, an online platform for investing in agriculture. They discuss Chris’ background in real estate, his decades in the United States military and what it really takes to get an idea off the ground.
“A few years ago, I started seeing these crowdfunding companies pop up,” Chris said. “About the same time, I moved to a rural area and would drive past these ranches raising cattle, goats – you name it. One day, I had a flash realization we could combine equity crowdfunding with agriculture, and we’ve been building it ever since.”
Time Stamped Show Notes:
00:50 – What does Harvest Returns do?
05:50 – What did you want to be when you grew up?
08:50 – How did you uncover the agriculture investing market?
15:03 – How are farmers connecting with Harvest Returns?
16:50 – How did you know what to focus on as a new entrepreneur?
19:33 – How did you build the Harvest Returns brand and gain early customers in the market place?
21:29 – What are some early milestones for your company?
23:06 – As an entrepreneur and starting a business, how much of it was luck vs a strategic approach?
24:12 – What has been your experience with having a co-founder?
25:37 – Has life experience helped set your proficiency as a successful entrepreneur?
31:50 – What is your advice to new entrepreneurs?
3 Key Points:
- Entrepreneurs do not predict the future, they invent it! Before Harvest Returns, nothing existed that allowed investors to buy into agriculture, aka agriculture investing. A good takeaway is never let a dream die and make it a reality. Help build the future.
- Modern Marketing. Most marketers are adapting their strategies with the boom in MarTech. Capitalizing on technology develops business recognition and accomplishment. Modern marketing is also the practice of understanding social media marketing. Knowing your product reach in social media expands your message as you grow.
- Learn your target audience. Great ideas may not be validated until you understand your customer needs. Understanding their wants and needs helps to evolve the idea and start the business.
Want to hear more? When you finish this episode, check out other recent guests on the Driven & Co. podcast.
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.