Icicle Technologies Inc. is the company behind an award-winning food production management software. Their technology helps food manufacturers monitor the safety and efficiency of production systems from one centralized platform.
Icicle was founded in BC but now operates in multiple countries around the world. How did they achieve global success? Founder and CEO Steve Burton shares the story behind the company and how Wavefront’s Global Market Entry Program supported their international expansion.
How it started
Burton was consulting for food processing plants across Canada when he noticed a common issue among manufacturing sites: documenting and conducting food safety audits was a tedious process of paperwork and manual entry.
“There was a real need for an integrated and automated food safety system to mitigate health risks. Without an automated system there is a much higher likelihood of foodborne outbreaks,” says Burton.
Discovering that the industry adoption rate for automated food safety processes was a low 3%, Burton knew had a business case. And it didn’t take long for customers to show interest. By the end of 2015, Burton had signed on clients ranging from chocolate producers to meat and dairy processors. As opportunity rose to grow the business, Burton was faced with the challenge of scaling into international markets.
How the Global Market Entry Program helped
Burton participated in Wavefront’s global market entry trip to New Zealand & Australia in 2016. Wavefront’s global trips are focused on creating opportunities within a specific sub-sector of the wireless industry and customized to include a small, select group of companies. Along with Burton were four other companies with agri-tech solutions who were aiming to connect with overseas partners. The trip facilitated one on one meetings with potential industry partners customers, as well as attending industry events in the market.
During the trip, Icicle was introduced to trade commissioners in both Australia and New Zealand where he started conversations around product distribution.
“We were looking to establish partnership arrangements so we could have people on the ground to service the customers there. This trip definitely delivered what we were hoping for. We couldn’t get a better segue-way into the market,” says Burton.
Following the 2016 trip, Icicle closed a deal with a key partner in New Zealand resulting in food safety consulting and the adoption of Icicle technology.
“Creating the affiliate partnership with All Systems Go in New Zealand was a big win that came out of the global trip. Since we’ve closed the deal, we’ve definitely been busy,“ says Burton.
Continued Expansion for Icicle
Burton and his team have expanded operations beyond New Zealand and Australia. Icicle is currently servicing clients in 8 countries around the world, including the US, the UK, and Italy.
With the food industry expanding and regulatory requirements tightening, end to end safety monitoring systems become even more vital. Icicle is adding to their playbook by building out new solutions for farmers and manufacturers, and plans to continue their expansion across borders.
Consider applying for one of Wavefront’s Global Market Entry Programs.
Have a smart manufacturing solution? Apply today for our trip to Taiwan & Japan from November 27 – December 1.
Questions? Contact us to find out how we can help!