Wavefront helped this BC-based company find international opportunities to grow their advanced food manufacturing platform
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, all from one centralized platform. With food borne illnesses a constant threat for food manufacturers, Icicle’s automated monitoring capabilities are changing the future of food production.
Founded in BC, Icicle now operates in multiple countries around the world. But how did they get there? Steve Burton shares the story behind the company and how Wavefront played a key role in the success of their international expansion.
How it Started
Burton was travelling across the country as a consultant for food processing plants when he noticed a common issue across many manufacturing sites: the processes in place for monitoring and mitigating health risks were slim and uncoordinated, reliant upon manual processes and copious amounts of paper.
“There was an apparent need for an integrated and automated food safety system to mitigate health risks. Without this, there is a much higher likelihood of foodborne outbreaks,” says Burton.
Upon finding out that the industry-wide adoption rate for automated food safety processes was only around 3%, he started to build a business case. It didn’t take long for customers to show interest and soon, Burton was faced with the challenge of scaling across borders.
Crossing borders through Wavefront’s Global Market Entry Program
With sights set on expanding internationally, Burton participated in Wavefront’s global market entry trip to New Zealand & Australia in 2016. This trip took five companies with Agri-tech solutions overseas and was designed to help them connect with potential industry partners and customers.
As part of the trip, Icicle was introduced to trade commissioners in Australia and New Zealand and were able to start conversations about 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.
Continued Expansion for Icicle
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.
Burton and his team have not stopped at New Zealand, however. They are currently doing business in 8 countries around the world, including the US, the UK, and Italy.
With the food industry continuing to expand and regulatory compliance requirements increasing, the need for an end to end monitoring system becomes all the more urgent. Icicle is working on building out new offerings for farmers as well as manufacturers, and plans to continue their expansion across borders as the industry progresses.
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