Having grown up on a sheep and cropping farm in Jamestown, Kitschke has long been passionate about technology and agriculture.
After completing a bachelor of Agricultural Science degree, he began working with rapid commercialisation company Availer.
While there he worked on a diverse range of projects, including the blockchain traceability of mangoes and computer vision detection for weeds, before becoming CEO of ag-tech startup MEQ Probe.
The emerging company uses medical grade laser probes to measure the quality of meat.
The probe was originally developed by the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics to measure the pH of cancerous and non-cancerous tissues in humans. But MEQ Probe adapted the technology for the meat industry, to measure the marbling and tenderness of Australian red meat products from paddock to plate.
Last year the company reaised $500,000 in funding to test and develop the probe and Kitschke was named one of the Evoke Ag Future Young Leaders.
At 23-years-old, he attributes his success to hard work and “plenty of luck”.
In June, Kitschke was named one of InDaily’s 40 Under 40, which recognises the best and brightest young business people in South Australia.
What is the single most important lesson you have learnt in your business career so far?
Surround yourself with like-minded, talented people. We’ve been really fortunate to have some really talented people from diverse backgrounds and breadth of different skill sets in our team.
What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?
I think being small and nimble is our strength. It’s very easy to get access to the people you need access to because everyone knows everyone.
What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?
From a startup perspective, there is a limited amount of risk capital in SA. I think greater access to this capital would see a greater number of startups succeed – and to a greater extent. I also think it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy because if investors and founders are making money here they are likely to reinvest here.
Do you see your future in South Australia?
I would love to build a global company from South Australia, leverage our existing talent and bring in even more talent.
How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?
I think that as a state, we need to encourage people to dream big. South Australia has many extremely talented people and plenty of great resources, and I think it would be great if we could leverage these assets better to build the state for the future.
To see the full list of 40 winners, go here.
InDaily is profiling each of the winners – go here to read more.
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