Two University of Otago business students identified an opportunity to make the horticulture sector easily accessible for everyday investors.
Alex Thomson and Gabriel Dykes are in their second-to-last year studying commerce and law at the University of Otago.
Last year, Dykes noticed headlines about New Zealand products reaching record prices on the global export market. He wondered how regular New Zealanders could profit from its success.
Dykes identified two main ways to profit from horticulture in New Zealand – you either own a horticultural development or invest in NZX-listed companies.
Dykes shared his idea for an online investing platform with Thomson, and it grew from there.
Thomson and Dyke's creation, Split, provides everyday New Zealanders, or retail investors, access high value and high growth assets within the horticulture sector.
Split sources new development opportunities and established horticulture assets, which investors can buy a portion of, a ‘split’, for as little as $250.
The horticultural businesses will not be NZX-listed companies but independent establishments or development companies looking to raise capital.
Split will partner with the companies to find retail investors instead of wholesale investors.
Last year, Dykes and Thomson went through Start-up Dunedin's Audacious programme and were also selected for the Future Food Aotearoa incubator programme in Christchurch. Most recently, they were accepted into the agri-tech business accelerator programme Sprout.
The two have a lot of work to do before the launch of their business, but each programme is helping make this idea a reality.